St. Johns County is taking control over a private access point in Vilano Beach that sustained severe erosion from a nor'easter.
Residents saw their pathway to the beach turn into a 10-15 foot cliff.
"The structural guys are out here, which is all we can ask for," resident Winfield Hartman said Monday. "They're getting answers for us and responding to emails and calls, which is a big step. We're happy with that. That's progress."
Hartman said the nor'easter destroyed his beach access over the weekend. Residents were worried about safety and frustrated they weren't hearing back from the county on who was responsible for fixing it.
The county said it only maintains beach access points it created.
"Like any coastline, our beaches constantly evolve in response to a variety of natural factors including tidal cycles and weather events," the county said in a statement. "The impact these events have on the coastline is continually evaluated by numerous local and federal agencies. St. Johns County is actively supporting and has advanced funding to expedite a Corps of Engineers Federal Feasibility Study that will determine the most appropriate solutions to address naturally occurring erosion on our coastline."
Hartman said residents hope to get any help they can, but if not, they'll take it into their own hands.
"We're a close-knit neighborhood. We've got hundreds of families back here," he said. "We'll probably all get hammers and nails and put it up again if that's what needs to be done, as long as they let us do it."
Although the access point wasn't county-created, the county said it will take over for now because its engineers deemed it dangerous. It is roped off until the county decides what to do.