ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- With hurricane season just days away, a new seawall currently under construction in downtown St. Augustine hopes to bring peace of mind to local businesses.
Marion Motor Lodge sits just feet away from the seawall on Avenida Menendez. Tom Kaczmarczyk's family has owned the motel since the 1970s and for him flooding has always been a major concern.
"One year we had a tropical storm, there were people literally kayaking along the streets. I even saw a couple of Jet Skis," said Kaczmarczyk.
The building of a new and improved seawall aims to put businesses like the Marion Motor Lodge a little more at ease.
According to the city of St. Augustine Public Works Department, the more than $6 million project is designed to protect the original wall built in the 1800s.
The current construction puts the new seawall 12 feet into the bay using concrete and reinforced steel.
Kaczmarczyk said the project will not only protect a historic piece of the nation's oldest city but also his bottom line.
"It helps tremendously because during inclement weather it can seriously come in toward the rooms and cause severe amount of water damage," said Kaczmarczyk.
According to city leaders, once the project is complete, the gap between the original wall and the new one will be paved in to create a walkway.
The project is expected to be completed sometime this year.