The reconstruction of nearly four blocks of A1A in Fort Lauderdale is a perfect example of how cities are responding to rising sea levels. It is also an example of how costly and damaging the problem can be.
The project north of Sunrise Boulevard between Northeast 14th Court and 18th Street, part of the city’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy, has a price tag of $8.3 million. Once the work is completed, A1A will have one northbound lane, one southbound lane, a turning lane, and a northbound bike lane.
Before the flooding, A1A was a four-lane road. By reducing lanes, the city can create a buffering greenway along the sidewalk to make more room for extreme high tides and to protect the pavement.
The work is a joint project of the Florida Department of Transportation, Broward County and Fort Lauderdale. The department plans to install sheet piling along the eastern edge of the damaged portion of the oceanfront road to stabilize it and prevent further erosion. About 24,600 cubic yards of sand will be dumped to re-create the beach.
This construction job could be just the beginning of adapting A1A to future flooding without disrupting traffic.
Susy Torriente, a Fort Lauderdale assistant city manager, said her municipality, the county and the state will plan a long-term solution.
“No decisions have been made yet,” she said, “but we are evaluating options like dunes on the beach, a three-lane road and wider pedestrian path, and an elevated road.”