Project team prepares for big waves this weekend

FDOT expects waves that could increase over 5 feet

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Transportation's A1A Emergency Restoration Project Team says they are preparing for the approaching high surf/coastal event this weekend.

The team says it is preparing for the construction zone between NE 14 Court and NE 18 Street, north of Sunrise Boulevard due the large waves expected March 9 and March 10.

According to recent weather alerts, the storm system that brought snow to parts of the Midwest and Eastern US, as well as coastal flooding to the mid-Atlantic states and NE US coast this week, is now off shore.

FDOT says the system is expected to drift slowly over the northwestern Atlantic over the next few days. The storm is expected to generate large waves that will impact Florida's east coast.

In their project area, FDOT says they are expecting waves that will increase 5 to 7 feet on Saturday, and 7 to 10 feet on Sunday. Additionally, FDOT expects increasing rough surf conditions through Sunday and potential beach erosion and minor coastal flooding.

FDOT says they are concerned about the pounding surf and possible over-wash onto beach-side streets. They added that it is possible that up to a foot of water may wash over the dunes and seawalls in some areas.

These impacts will be magnified near the high tide times in the morning and evening hours. FDOT says in preparation of these conditions, the project team on Friday positioned equipment and materials behind the area where sheet piles have been installed.

Along the northern end of the project, FDOT has positioned the stockpiled sheets along the pavement edge to act as a breakwater should the surf reach that level.

Crews say they will be on site over the weekend during the allowed work hours of 7 am to 7 pm on Saturday, and 9 am to 7 pm on Sunday, however, there will be no wall installation activity. Staff will monitor the site conditions and take whatever corrective action is needed.

FDOT reminds pedestrians and beach-goers to refrain from cutting through the construction site and to use the beach-access points on the north and south ends of the construction zone. The sidewalk remains open on the west side of A1A.

This event is not expected to be as big as the October and November storms that caused the erosion in this section of A1A, but FDOT says they expect it to be the biggest the area has experienced since last fall.

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