Marinas fill and sometimes railroad crossings have to adjust. But for Fernandina Beach, infrastructure projects to address both issues will be underway as warm-weather tourism heats up around the port city’s historic district.
“The marina dredging will start their mobilizing this week and will start digging either the end of this week or beginning of next,” City Engineer Charlie George said at the last meeting of the Fernandina Beach city commissioners.
“So, that will be an interesting view. The railroad and waterfront roadway improvements project with Ash, Center and Alachua, they’re under contract. We’re going to wait until after Shrimp Fest to actually mobilize to the site. We’re going to start working on Ash Street first. We’re going to put out a notice to the public of what’s going to go on, because there’ll be some traffic situations and pedestrian situations and things like that, so that will be going out.”
The annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is April 29-May 1.
The marina project is jointly funded by the city and the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), with each contributing around $750,000 to the effort.
“The funds available through FIND are generated through a relatively small millage on your annual property taxes — 0.0320 mills; less than $10 on my tax bill,” City Manager Dale Martin said in his weekly column. “Thank you to FIND for the continuing financial support for marina/waterfront projects. With that help, three significant projects will be completed this year — within a matter of months actually.”
The railroad crossings are by Front Street, which runs longitudinally along the Amelia River waterfront in the historic district. The crossing at Alachua Street is expected to be the final part of the railway improvements, following Ash and Center.
“The Alachua Street crossing project will also include streetscape improvements along Alachua Street — between North Front and North Second streets,” Martin wrote. “The streetscape improvements — sidewalks, lighting, landscaping — will also be extended on North Second Street, perhaps as far north as Broome Street. Significant private development efforts, both commercial and residential, are underway — and more planned — in that area of downtown.”