Tropical Storm Eta damaged the boardwalks in the eastern part of the park.
Longboat Key is working to replace several damaged boardwalks along the eastern part of Joan M. Durante Park after November's Hurricane Eta.
“We have to work through our insurance company because it should be covered all by our town’s insurance,” said Streets, Facilities, Parks and Recreation Director Mark Richardson. “Currently, I’m collecting quotes, and then I turn the quotes in to the insurance.”
Once the insurance money gets approved, the town will select between two vendors to replace the boardwalks. Richardson estimated it will cost about $150,000.
“I know it’s not going to be cheap,” Richardson said.
Richardson wasn’t sure how soon the boardwalks could get replaced because it depends on the vendor’s schedule once one is selected.
“I don’t know how long it would even take to work once we gave the go-ahead just because it’s not very accessible,” Richardson said. “That’s why the price would be high, as well it would take longer because it’s a narrow path where you can only get a golf cart down, or you bring a barge in from the water.”
At the very least, it will likely take a few weeks to replace the boards.
Richardson said the vendor selection, insurance money and board replacement work is not subject to any kind of approval from the town commission.
“When I was meeting someone out there who walks the park daily, and they’re like, ‘Is this going to get fixed?’ And, it’s going to get fixed,” Richardson said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
The rest of the trails in Durante Park remain open.
In December 2020 report, town leaders estimated Tropical Storm Eta washed about 274,000 cubic yards of sand from Longboat Key beaches. Some 222 homes experienced some level of flood-water intrusion.