Broward News

Fort Lauderdale Beach Erosion Destroys Sidewalk, Causing Traffic Problems

High tide waves have eroded the beach, knocked down a wall and some palm trees, and wrecked a portion of the sidewalk north of Sunrise Boulevard on A1A.

On Friday, the Florida Department of Transportation declared an emergency after chunks of the street collapsed and washed into the ocean. Concrete barriers were put in place on Saturday and seem to be working for now. But more water -- including a high tide on Wednesday -- is expected to cause more headaches along NW 16th Court and A1A.

Sand is also expected to be brought in from other areas.

Most of the damage was due to Hurricane Sandy, but the National Weather Service says a low-pressure system moving east was causing the northerly swells, according to NBC6.

"Our concern is the traffic signal," said Fort Lauderdale spokesman Matt Little. "The piling is exposed. I don't know how deep it goes, but we've already lost palm trees, the seawall, and the sidewalk."

Due to high-tide flooding on Friday, northbound traffic on A1A was closed off between Sunrise Boulevard and NE 20th Street. One southbound lane of A1A remained open, causing traffic headaches as five-foot swells washed over onto the street.

But the real headache might come should local businesses, shops, and hotels be affected by the flooding. The area has become a place for people to gather and shoot photos.

State inspectors say it is still unclear when the closed lanes will be reopened to traffic.

For now, two southbound lanes of A1A are being used to accommodate both northbound and southbound traffic.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph