ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Beach driving has been prohibited between Crescent Beach and Fort Matanzas, St. Johns County officials announced Friday.
The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners said the beach access ramp at Fort Matanzas was damaged during Hurricane Matthew, eliminating the final access point for southbound vehicles to leave the beach before the national park boundary.
As a result, vehicle access to the beach between Crescent Beach and Fort Matanzas has been prohibited.
Additionally, county officials said, beach erosion and high tides have reduced the amount of drivable sand.
Officials will continue to monitor beach and tide conditions, and will implement temporary two-way traffic between Crescent Beach and Fort Matanzas when it is safe to do so.
As Fort Matanzas is a national park, St. Johns County cannot repair the beach access ramp in order to restore beach driving, but will be working with the National Park Service to speed up the repairs.
Officials said vehicle beach access will resume once the ramp is repaired and when the beach can accommodate traffic. It's unclear when that will be.