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St. Augustine's new seawall construction delayed

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Updated: 5/31/2013 8:31 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Construction of the new seawall along Avenida Menendez is taking longer than city leaders expected. In fact, it will not be finished in time for this year's hurricane season.
Andrew Warren's bed and breakfast sits just feet away from the intercoastal waterway on Avenida Menendez and just steps away from the seawall.
For more than a year, he and his guests have had to deal with the view of construction workers and heavy machinery instead.
"Like all construction projects sometimes they take longer than they should or people want them to," said Andrew Warren, owner of the Bayfront Westcott House.  
The project was supposed to be finished by April of this year, but according to city manager, John Regan, construction won't wrap up until the fall.

"Right now we're in the middle of another change order that will improve some of the finishes and some of the cross walk systems and lighting systems. We [also] had some other design changes," said John Regan, St. Augustine City Manager. 
Regan said unforeseen geological conditions are also slowing down the job.
The total price of the project is $6.7 million, 75 percent of which is being funded by FEMA and the other 25 percent is paid for by the city’s general fund.
The new seawall is being built 12 feet into the bay and can withstand storms as strong as a Category 1 hurricane.
While Warren is eager for them to finish the project, he said he's willing to wait.
"I'd rather they do it right," said Warren.
Once the project is finished the original seawall, built in the 1800s, will become a 1,100 foot long bench that will also serve to entomb the seawall and preserve it.
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