Seawall repairs on front burner in Indialantic

Rob Stout marveled at the seawall damage in Douglas Park, the small tract just off the 192 causeway in Indialantic. A winter homeowner in Indialantic from Waterford, New Jersey, Stout knows seawalls. As a construction worker in New Jersey, he’s built many of the structures, including one in Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City which survived Superstorm Sandy.

“This did not look like it was anchored enough into the concrete,” he surmised after surveying the damage wrought by Hurricane Matthew in which some of the walls bent at more than 45 degree angles to each other.

The storm also harmed the riverfront edges of Sunset, Riverside and Indian River parks as well. At its March meeting, the town council approved funding for repairs of the four areas. The Douglas Park seawall repair contract for $74,440 went to SDV Services LLC, of Titusville, while the three other parks will be restored at a cost of $115,947 by Brevard Excavating and Land Clearing Inc. of Melbourne.

“The seawall itself has been compromised and damage to Sunset and Riverside Park were significant,” Town Manager Christopher Chinault said of the need for repairs.

Work at Douglas Park expects to start about April 10, while the other projects are set to begin April 17. The seawall construction should be done by May 25. The other park work should be wrapped up by June 16, Chinault said.

“Certain areas of the parks will be closed off while the work commences, i.e. when contractors are on site,” Chinault said.

Because the damage emanated from Matthew, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay 75 percent of the repair costs. The state will ante up 12.5 percent, leaving Indialantic with the remaining 12.5 percent.

The repairs to Douglas Park will more than answer the concerns of Stout, including among other steps, the use of steel rods to connect the sea walls to a heavy anchor known as a dead man. The rods will then connect to a horizontal brace at the other end.

“I suspect with the force of the wave action and high winds the only thing that holds the sea wall in place is really the strength of connection to the dead man,” Chinault said.

Coquina rubble will be added to the river’s edge at Sunset Park across from Watson Drive, and Indian River Park on the western edge of Orlando Boulevard. Coquina will also be added the existing coquina rock revetment at the river’s edge at Riverside Park, along Riverside Place. The revetment was built after hurricanes in 1999.

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