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Drill, Baby, Drill: Post-Sandy Restoration Work Begins On Fort Lauderdale's SR A1A

C. DiMattei

A four-block stretch of State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale that got a pounding from Mother Nature last fall is now getting a drilling by construction workers.

Between October and November, crashing waves, high tides and storm surge from Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of the beach, seawall and roadway just north of Sunrise Boulevard. 

This week, an enormous rig positioned along the beach will drill about 40 feet down, to prepare the way for the installation of a new seawall.

Sixty-five-year-old Jack Potalivo has been vacationing in Fort Lauderdale for about 25 years.  He says he was shocked to see the damage left behind by a storm that barely touched Florida.

“The damage that Hurricane Sandy did.  I just couldn't believe it,” says Potalivo.  “Instead of four lanes, A1A became two lanes.”

Once the pile-driving is finished, a team effort between Broward County and the city of Fort Lauderdale will begin beach restoration efforts.  That involves hauling in about 25,000 cubic yards of sand to spread on the beach.

Both state and local officials say they're taking measures to make sure their efforts don't interfere with sea turtle nesting.