Commissioner Matt Brooks seeking help from the state for seawall restoration in Cedar Key

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:01 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:39 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Due to it’s proximity to the ocean and years of abuse from Tropical Storms, the seawall on Dock Street in Cedar Key is failing.

“All seawalls have a useful life and the one on Dock Street is past its useful life actually,” said UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Center Sea Grant Agent Savanna Barry. “So we recommend alternatives to seawalls whenever possible just because of that, all seawalls will fail eventually and this one is failing. Unfortunately there really is no other choice but to restore, replace, and repair.”

Due to this, Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks decided to get involved. He is seeking funding from the state to make renovations to the seawall.

“So the first step of the process for us was an appropriations request that we put in the amount of $500,000 to the state,” Brooks said. “ We put that through the proper channels of our representative Joe Harding and Senator Jennifer Bradley offices. So that has been put before the legislature now, they’ll start session next week and hopefully look favorably upon it.”

Brooks says the importance of the businesses on Dock Street is immense.

“There’s a lot of condos, a lot of VRBO’s, a lot of visitors that come to that area and it’s very important to the local economy as well as the economy of levy county to have those folks continually coming there and making sure those businesses thrive,” said Brooks.

One of those business owners is Jordan Keeton, who owns 83 West, a popular bar and seafood restaurant on Dock Street. Keeton says he has been involved with Brooks and the project for about 4 years now.

“You know if a bad storm comes through, there definitely could be some trouble for us,” Keeton said. “And we would hate to see a crack in the seawall get worse and then access be lost to all of the businesses here. So we are worried about that, some of the foundations, they’ve been around for a while, some of these buildings are very old.”

Barry also added that the road and seawall are still safe for people and not a hazard, but if action is not taken, that could change.

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