St. Johns County temporarily closes vehicle beach access ramps for FEMA dune enhancement project

Two vehicle beach access ramps to temporarily close for Butler Beach Reach FEMA Dune Enhancement Project.

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — St. Johns County has announced the temporary closure of two vehicle beach access ramps as part of a comprehensive FEMA Dune Enhancement Project.

The affected ramps are located at Butler Beach Reach, encompassing the shoreline from Ocean Hammock Park through Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort, along with a 1,500-foot section from Mary Street in the southbound direction.

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To ensure public safety and accommodate heavy equipment on the beach, the Ocean Trace Road vehicle beach access ramp will be closed starting Thursday, July 6. The A Street vehicle beach access ramp will follow suit on Monday, July 10.

However, all vehicle traffic in the area will still be able to enter and exit the beach using the Dondanville Road vehicle beach access ramp.

St. Johns County Emergency Management Director Joseph Giammanco explained that the closure is part of the ongoing FEMA Dune Enhancement Project, which aims to restore the beaches impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.

He stated, “The Butler Beach Reach portion is one of four beach restoration efforts as part of the FEMA Dune Enhancement Project. We will perform the work in phases to reduce public access restrictions and increase public safety, as well as the efficiency of our resources to complete this massive project.”

Giammanco further added that the project’s completion is expected within two months, taking into account weather conditions and other variables.

Construction company Phillips & Jordan, Inc. was selected as the contractor for the project. They were chosen as the lowest, most responsive, and responsible bidder, with a bid price of $4,173,498. An additional $700,000 has been allocated for project delivery costs. St. Johns County will receive a FEMA grant reimbursement of $3,655,124 and a State of Florida Department of Emergency Management grant reimbursement of $609,187 upon project completion.


To stay updated on the project’s progress, residents can visit the official St. Johns County website at sjcfl.us/CoastalProjects/ or contact the Coastal Management team at 904-209-0260 or coastalprojects@sjcfl.us. The public is encouraged to follow St. Johns County Beach Services on Facebook or Twitter (@SJCBeaches) for further information. Additionally, the Reach the Beach mobile app can be downloaded for free from m.appbuild.io/stjohnsc6.

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners has approved the transfer of $609,187 from General Fund Reserves to cover the remaining project cost, demonstrating the county’s commitment to the restoration and preservation of its coastal areas.

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