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Updates on Sewall Projects & Press Release - Temporary Beach Crossover Closures on Edith Street and Anna Street

       UPDATES ON SEAWALL PROJECTS NEAR EDITH AND ANNA STREET CROSSOVER
Update #9:
Updated Field Report for Anna St. and Edith St.
Update #8:
Updated Field Report for Anna St. and Edith St
Update #7: 
Updated Aerial Exhibit , it can be viewed by clicking here
Update #6: Reports from Town Engineer, dated 1/26/2021, report #1 and report #2
Update #5:
Updated Aerial Exhibit showing three homes added, it can be viewed by clicking here
Update #4:
Report from Town Engineer, dated 1/12/2021, it can be viewed by clicking here.
Update #3:
Report from Town Engineer Tropepe, dated 1/8/2021, it can be viewed by clicking here.
Update #2:
 Report from Town Engineer Tropepe, dated 1/5/2021. It  can be viewed by clicking here.
Update #1: 
Report from Building Official Guy, dated 12/29/2020. It can be viewed by clicking here

    Press Release

Temporary Beach Crossover Closures on Edith Street and Anna Street
December 4, 2020

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The seawall construction project near the Edith Street and Anna Street crossover areas is an emergency, resident funded project to install a seawall abutting the Atlantic Ocean between 6073 and 6083 Old Ocean Blvd and between 6161 and 6195 N Ocean Blvd which was initiated to protect the structures from falling over the cliff onto the beach. The Town is assisting by allowing the contractor to access the properties through two public access points.  The property owners have agreed to donate to the Town a new section of seawall valued at $70,000 on Town property to help protect the public crossovers from further damage in the future.  If the Town’s crossovers were not being used to provide access in this emergency project, they still would be required to be closed to the public due to safety concerns arising from the surrounding construction and need to remove the stairs during the construction period. The beach crossovers at Edith Street and Anna Street will be closed from approximately December 2, 2020 until approximately March 30, 2020.

The timing of this project could not have been delayed as it is an emergency project with an expedited timeline mandated by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) due to strict regulations regarding construction during Turtle Season.  

BACKGROUND

The Town Commission at a duly noticed meeting on February 24, 2020, declared a State of Emergency due to successive storms over the past year that resulted in significant sand loss threatening portions of those properties abutting the Atlantic Ocean between 6285 N. Ocean Blvd. and South to 6029 Old Ocean Blvd.   Approximately 1,700 linear feet of the dune has been destroyed or compromised causing adverse impacts and destruction to the beaches, public access pathways and private properties. The state of emergency allowed the Town to assist the affected property owners in applying to DEP for the necessary emergency permits to first construct temporary armoring solutions and then to construct permanent seawalls to protect the structures from falling over the cliff onto the beach.  The Town was also experiencing major issues with our beach crossover structures due to severe dune erosion, and worked with the property owners who agreed to donate to the Town a section of seawall across the Anna Street crossover area in order to close a gap, at a cost of $70,000 donated by the residents.  While we would have wanted to extend this emergency permit to the other 11 property owners that the Town Engineer and Building Official deemed in possible danger, DEP indicated to us that they will not consider approving any seawall permits for properties where structures are not in imminent danger of collapse as determined by state statute and DEP rules.

In working with the residents and Engineers on the project and in speaking with DEP representatives, staff collectively determined that the best entry points and construction staging areas would be the Edith Street and Anna Street crossover areas given the need for construction equipment to be able to traverse the area on dry land in safe conditions, as two homes extend eastward onto the beach limiting that area especially during high tide. These entrance points are located directly at the construction sites and would cause the least environmental impact and destruction to the beach from construction equipment. The next entrance point in consideration would be the Town’s right of way near Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park which is approximately 2/10 mile north of the currently chosen entrance points.  That location was not chosen in part as construction equipment would have to traverse across the beach. The Army Corp of Engineers would likely deny access involving use of property seaward of the high tide line as well.  There are three private property owners between Anna Street and Edith Street crossovers that are not involved in the seawall construction and permission would have been needed to travel across their private property beach areas with construction equipment if only the Anna Street crossover was utilized.  The Town also considered the safety of beachgoers near the crossover area while construction is ongoing, as our crossover stairs need to be removed during construction.  It was also noted that the next available open public crossover area for the public to access the beach at Corrine Street was only 2/10 of a mile walking distance difference from the end of Hudson Ave, and just a few hundred feet from the Anna Street crossover. 

Ultimately, the Town Commission considered and approved a Hold Harmless Agreement with the three property owners that live South of the Edith Street crossover, and the three property owners that live South of the Anna Street crossover at a duly noticed Town Commission meeting on November 2, 2020, giving the property owners permission to utilize the Edith Street and Anna Street crossover areas during construction.

PROJECT LOGISTICS

Please note that the Town is not the legally contracted party on the project, and the project will be treated like any other resident construction project in the Town including adhering to the construction hours in Town Code and maintenance of traffic plans.  The contractor was notified by the Building Official that since this is a private construction project and not a town project, the contractor would be responsible for notifying the neighboring properties regarding the construction before commencement.

Once all of the permits were in place by DEP and the Town, the contractor moved extremely quickly to ensure that the project could begin as soon as possible in order to finish before commencement of turtle season as required by DEP.  As soon as the contractor contacted the town to let us know about his intention on a start date for construction, we held a pre-construction meeting with him and notified the public of the timeline for crossover closures.  Pre-notice was given at the November 2, 2020 Town Commission meeting that the crossovers would be closed during construction, and we followed up with a second notice on December 1st as soon as the date was confirmed by the contractor. Again, the beach crossovers at Edith Street (Dec 8) and Anna Street (Dec 2) will be closed from approximately December 2, 2020 until approximately March 30, 2020.

During the pre-construction meeting, Town staff worked out all of the details with the contractor regarding a maintenance of traffic plan and parking on-site.  The contractor also informed us that the property owners paid extra to secure special equipment that is smaller, quieter, and will be less intrusive to the neighbors, as they will be utilizing the Press-in method to install piles without excessive noise or vibration.

In accordance with the hold harmless agreement between the Town and the residents who are constructing the seawalls, the beach crossover stairs will be replaced by the contractor at the conclusion of the project, and the Town’s right-of-way including landscaping will be restored to the same or similar condition that it was in prior to the commencement of construction.  A landscape plan for replacement of the trees and vegetation will be submitted by the contractor in the next 30 days for the Town to review and approve.

CONCLUSION

We all have the same community goal of saving our neighbor’s homes and continuing the project in the least disruptive way to all, while keeping in mind the safety of the public. This is a good project for the Town, and we are committed to working with the contractor to ensure that this project is completed expeditiously. 

Respectfully,

Tracey L. Stevens, MMC
Town Manager & Finance Director


                                           

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