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El Portal seawall reinforcement project to start soon, affect homes

El Portal is getting ready to start construction on a long-stalled project aimed at helping to alleviate flooding and erosion issues.

BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
El Portal is ready to hire a construction company to replace a seawall along the Little River.

The project is aimed at reducing flooding and soil erosion. The city will seek bids from contractors within the next few weeks, said Village Manager Jason Walker.

Construction could start by summer, he added.

The first phase of the seawall restoration project includes the western part of the village, roughly from Interstate 95 to Northwest Third Avenue, where the flooding has been the worst, Walker said.

Work will be conducted on 20 homes, and letters have been sent to property owners alerting them.

“In some areas, there are people who just don’t have a wall,” Walker said.

Fiber-reinforced plastic material underneath the water, with coral rock above, will be added, along with each home receiving 6-foot-wide step-downs.

El Portal Mayor Joyce Davis said the project is significant.

“The importance level is heightened because of the loss of property where resident property abuts the Little River,” Davis said.

The installation of the wall has been in the works since 2002, but finances and permits have slowed the process.

In 2005, El Portal was awarded $975,000 in state funding through the South Florida Water Management District and Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Work is expected to begin in the summer. For information on the project, call 305-795-7880.

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