Beach access through 27th Avenue Beachfront Park ramp in NSB to … – Daytona Beach News-Journal

NEW SMYRNA BEACH — Beachgoers have always relied on the wooden stairs and handicap ramp to access the beach from the city’s 27th Avenue Beachfront Park.
But ever since a storm forced the city to close the ramp for repairs in October, beach access has become a problem.
That is because the only other flat access point is through the county-operated vehicular beach approach. While it provides an alternative to the handicap ramp during the day, anyone trying to get on or off the beach after 7 p.m. (when the vehicular beach ramp closes) must use the stairs. And that’s not easy for beachgoers carrying coolers, carts, fishing gear and other heavier items. Access for residents who use wheelchairs and for those with fishing carts and bikes is also a problem.
So once 7 p.m. rolls around, beachgoers either have to find another access point or leave the beach.
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The 27th Avenue Beachfront Park is located at 3701 S. Atlantic Ave. and is exclusively maintained by the city. It offers residents parking spaces and includes a boardwalk, basketball and racquetball courts, a picnic area with sail shade coverings, outdoor showers and restrooms.
Locals Suzanne and Kevin Cruser frequently use the stairs and ramp at the park to carry their beach items. This week, they were accompanied by their son and his friends who wanted to play basketball at the Beachfront Park court, so the couple had help bringing their things down the stairs onto the beach.
“It would be nice to have the ramp access,” Suzanne Cruser said.
“But they helped us bring everything down,” Kevin Cruser added.
Suzanne Cruser said she has recently had a surgical procedure that makes her hesitant to use stairs.
“I am sure there are some other people who maybe have health issues, and who can’t do stairs very well, who would like to see that ramp back open as well,” she said.
According to city spokesman Philip Veski, the handicap ramp and stairs will be replaced.
The city will put out a bid for construction in “late October/early November, get it in front of the City Commission for approval in December, begin construction in February, and have it completed before next year’s sea turtle nesting season begins (around May).”
The nearest city-owned pedestrian ramp from 27th Avenue Beachfront Park is 1.9 miles north via Marianne Clancy Park at 901 S. Atlantic Ave., Veski added. That ramp is open 24 hours a day.
Other nearby, county-owned, smaller-stair approaches along Atlantic Avenue are located on Matthews Avenue and Oyster Quay.
For nearly six months, the park’s stairs were the only way for residents to access the beach. The county closed the vehicular ramp approach at 27th Avenue in December of last year for repairs and reopened it in July. 
Repairing the vehicular ramp been a concern for the county for years.
On Feb. 20, 2018, the Volusia County Council approved a task assignment to Gulf Engineers & Consultants, Inc., for coastal engineering services to re-design the approach.
The ramp services the southern limits of the drivable beach in New Smyrna Beach and extends approximately 75 feet east of the adjacent seawalls. According to the county’s Coastal Division, it is more susceptible to tide-based closures than any other ramp in the county and, due to the length of the ramp, it also suffers more storm impacts.
In January 2018, for instance, after a “harsh Nor’easter, the erosion at the base of the ramp was significant enough that the ramp had to be temporarily closed until temporary repairs could be made,” according to a Coastal Division document.
In February 2020, another storm caused further erosion and the ramp was forced to close temporarily again.
The repair project, which was completed in July, aimed to re-design the approach to relocate it further west and steepen the ramp “to reduce future storm impacts and minimize closures due to high tide.”
The project cost the county approximately $670,000. The park’s handicap ramp and stairs repair project will be funded by the city.


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