ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A project to protect Saint Augustine's shoreline is finally wrapping up.
The seawall was set to be complete in April, however Action News learned today it will open in January. The project scheduled to take seven months has lasted around two years.
Local business owners are glad to see the construction leave because it’s affecting their bottom line. St. Augustine Public Works said the project is coming to a close, and local business owners said it’s about time.
Caution tape and wood planks block the entrance to the Santa Maria Restaurant. But if the city of St. Augustine has its way, it will be back open to its normal self in two weeks.
"We've been minus all of this parking for almost two years, so it's going to be a great boost to our business that we definitely need," said Carl Connell, manager of Santa Maria Restaurant.
After numerous phone calls, the Public Works director emailed Action News saying all that is left to complete is the installation of handrails before re-opening the seawall.
Visitors said they love the area, and owners whose businesses depend on pedestrian traffic hope the plan doesn't encounter any more delays. "We'll certainly be excited to have the seawall open and our entrance back open after two years of waiting," said Connell.
If all goes as planned, the City of St. Augustine will have a dedication ceremony for the new seawall on February 7, 2014.