REDINGTON BEACH — This residential beach town will seek bids to replace three of its eroding boardwalk beach accesses, with either wood or a concrete walkway.

Town Clerk Adriana Nieves noted the town has six beach accesses located at 155th Avenue, Moon Park (157th Avenue), 158th Avenue, Beach Park (160th Avenue), 162nd Avenue and 163rd Avenue. 

The three narrow Gulf-front boardwalk accesses that have deteriorated beyond repair, and need to be replaced, are at 158th Avenue, 162nd Avenue and 163rd Avenue. They have composite decking walkways leading from the sidewalk on Gulf Boulevard to the beach, Nieves said.

“The three accesses are showing signs of age and need to be replaced. The accesses were replaced approximately 15 years ago with a grant received through the Coastal Partnership Initiative, a program of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,” Nieves said in her report to the Town Commission. “The Town applied for this grant in 2021, but was denied funding.”

Photos included as part of this staff report show clear signs of disrepair — missing rails, raised screws, decaying boards and warped boards. Public Works staff has repaired several areas of these accesses and will continue to do so until they are replaced, Nieves said.

Mayor David Will said the city has funds in its reserves to replace the boardwalk accesses with either wood or concrete.

He noted two years ago the city got a quote to replace the boardwalk with wood for about $120,000, but now it may be more expensive to complete the project.

“The patching and repairing has been getting us by for a while, but things are getting pretty bad and we hear it from our residents,” Will said.  He suggested instead of replacing it as a wooden boardwalk, which would require a lot of maintenance, perhaps the town should replace it with concrete, like a sidewalk, which is a low-maintenance situation.

Commissioner Richard Cariello initially asked how the city determined the boardwalks needed to be replaced, rather than repaired. He told fellow commissioners the last time he was out there “it looked more like a visual situation, where it looked awful, but it seemed like the structure itself was very sound.”

Will said public works determined deterioration of the boards has spread to support areas called stringers. Stringers are sections of lumber that support the deck.

Will said the consensus is to get some more information as to the cost for replacement of a wooden or concrete boardwalk and decide which way to go.

Town Attorney Rob Eschenfelder suggested that while the city can get cost estimates, it can also just solicit a request for proposals asking for a firm able to complete repairs both ways and then the town can decide on which method and vendor it wants to use.

Commissioners gave their unanimous consensus to have staff begin the procedure to request RFP bids that will replace the three beach access boardwalks. 

Drainage swale replacement

Will reported the city is moving forward with a plan to replace swales that no longer drain rainwater to box culverts.

“We had an engineering company take some elevations on driveways to determine if the town’s swales are adequately working to send rainwater into drain boxes,” he told fellow commissioners at the Feb. 15 meeting.

Swales were installed in 1991 to move rainwater to the drain boxes, he explained. The swales are “a grassy area because it’s also supposed to filter contaminants along the way. Since 1991 some swales have grown in, or filled in, and new driveways have been put in, so we don’t have a flow to the drain box anymore.”

The mayor said the next step is to show what is needed to reconstruct the swales and get an idea of what the cost will be, and to look at any of the driveways to determine if any of those driveways have to be adjusted.

“The city will get an idea of what the cost will be for doing a block and depending on that we may have to go with an RPF. We’re definitely going in the right direction,” he said.

Will said he would like to start upgrading and reconstructing the swales with the area on 4th Street, the only area on the town’s intercoastal fingers that has swales.

“According to our comprehensive plan, we have the responsibility to maintain these swales,” he said. “It’s not rocket science, we just need to find the high point and have it flow to the drain box.”

Commissioners will decide how to move the project forward at subsequent meetings.