Historic City News has learned that the County is already aware of our reader’s concerns regarding vehicular access between Crescent Beach and Fort Matanzas. They have shared the following information in response to your common concerns.
The beach access ramp at Fort Matanzas was damaged during Hurricane Matthew, eliminating the final access point for southbound vehicles to leave the beach prior to the national park boundary. As a result, vehicular access to the beach between Crescent Beach and Fort Matanzas is currently prohibited.
In addition, two-way traffic between the two ramps is currently not possible as beach erosion and abnormally high tides have reduced the amount of drivable sand to a level that prevents the ability to safely maintain a lane for southbound traffic, a lane for northbound traffic, parking areas, and pedestrian space.
Staff will continue to monitor and evaluate beach and tide conditions daily and will implement temporary two-way traffic between Crescent Beach and Fort Matanzas when beach conditions allow safe passage.
As Fort Matanzas is a National Park, St. Johns County has no authority to repair or make improvements to the beach access ramp to restore on-beach driving. County officials continue to work with representatives from the National Park Service to expedite the repairs.
Ensuring a safe and enjoyable beach environment for pedestrian and vehicular beach traffic remains a high priority for the County, and vehicular beach access will be restored once the ramp is repaired and when the beach can accommodate traffic.