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Talks of a new beach coming to Alligator Point to protect the new Alligator Drive

How this will help the future of the community
Posted at 6:28 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 18:28:58-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Over 5 million dollars in federal money is coming to save Alligator Drive in Alligator Point, infamous for washing away when storms batter the coast.

ABC 27 walks through the plan and why it's so important for the community's future.

"Protecting that $5.2 million investment," said Bert Boldt with the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, talking about safeguarding a $5 million paved road, sea wall, and more, which are under construction on Alligator Drive to protect the community of Alligator Point.

Commissioners say beach erosion keeps getting worse which will eventually tear the road apart, especially when a major storm comes through.

Alan Pierce, a consultant with the commission, knows the erosion is so severe that every 4 to 6 years, more sand will have to go back in.

"When the road washes out the waterline washes out and now not only is everyone out of access to their property they're out of water," Pierce said.

To combat that, Franklin County is getting creative. They want to build a 1 mile-long beach to protect the road, which will also protect the waterline and will allow access to the fire department. It'll cost $10 million and that's going to be covered by county funds and a 50 percent match from the state.

The beach will also have the added bonus of becoming a tourist spot.

However, with beach erosion looming and no more money to put up, the question is: where does the money come from to maintain the beach, year after year? That's what the commission is working on now, but they need community input for this to work.

As for price, Boldt says it will take the next year to figure out.

"What I want to do is put a price on it after we get proper survey proper engineering and get some good proposals and bids," said Boldt.

The commission is in talks of possibly having property owners or those that use water and fire services (plus more on the table) on who would bear the cost of beach maintenance.

Boldt says that's where community voices will come in so the people get what they want.

The earliest the beach will be completed is 2023. The new Alligator Drive should be ready by the end of 2021.