By Stan Karpf, Vice President, GSAC Board of Directors
In July we updated you in a “Special Edition E-Letter” on the status of the Seawall Litigation and Pending Repairs along Gulf Shore Blvd North.
The Seawall has been in disrepair for years and has created an unsafe and unsightly condition along portions of the sidewalk along the bay. This unsafe condition was expedited due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The Seawall was built in the mid 1970’s and due to its fifty year age the Seawall was rapidly approaching the end of its useful life, the life of a Seawall is generally forty to fifty years. Rough waters created by Hurricane Irma expedited it’s demise.
In June of this year after three years of litigation the city accepted full responsibility to repair the damaged Seawall which is approximately 3200 linear feet which stretches from the turn around at the end of Gulf Shore Blvd North to the Venetian Bay Yacht Club South.
In a presentation to the GSAC Board of Directors last month, Gregg Strakaluse, Director of Streets and Stormwater for the City of Naples presented a plan to rebuild and repair the Seawall.
After Director Strakaluse completed his presentation GSAC Directors voted unanimously to support the plan. As presented, the plan would insure not only that the new Seawall is aesthetically compatible with our beautiful neighborhood but also took into consideration environmental, sea rise, and one hundred year storm concerns.
Gregg and his staff will not only fix the Seawall but hopefully also enhance the water quality and overall health of the bay with their plan forward. We are very pleased his plan is taking advantage of this opportunity.
As soon as it was determined the city would accept the ownership of the Seawall Gregg hired Coastal Engineering to review the problem and recommend an appropriate solution. Coastal came back with a plan that was rather innovative. The plan called for the cutting off of the existing Seawall at the high tide mark and build a new seawall twelve inches directly behind the existing one providing essentially double the protection.
Coastal noted in their report that over time oysters had attached themselves to the present wall and by leaving that in place and adding a new wall they could create an expanded oyster bed and as you know oysters are terrific for the body of water in which they live since the filter the water. Additionally, the new wall will likely be six to twelve inches higher than the original wall providing protection against global sea rise and the possibility of a hundred year storm.
Director Strakaluse and Coastal Engineering presented three options to repair the Seawall at the November 15 City Council Meeting. Council agreed after a lengthy discussion that the option outlined above is the best solution and voted unanimously to move forward in hiring Coastal Engineering to develop a scope of work and a cost estimate to repair a 700 foot section in phase 1 as well as secure all necessary permits. Additionally council unanimously approved that Director Strakaluse develop a design, cost, and permitting for the remaining approximate 2500 feet of Seawall.
It is anticipated that the actual repair work on phase one will commence Q2 2022.
Your GSAC Board will keep you posted on developments concerning this project as they become available. We have been working with the City on this project for four years and we are very pleased that we can now “deliver a win” for the members of GSAC.
Thank you for supporting GSAC so we can support you!