A portion of Anne’s Beach in Lower Matecumbe has new boardwalk and a pavilion. Construction is ahead of schedule and could be complete by early summer. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

If all goes as planned, renovation at a popular park in Lower Matecumbe wiped out by Hurricane Irma could be complete by early summer. 

Located at MM 73.5, oceanside, Anne’s Beach was closed after the storm took out park infrastructure and parking. Rebuilding started in October 2018 following village council’s approval to go with Island Villa Construction for about $1.4 million. 

Public Works Director AJ Engelmeyer told the Weekly the project’s moving along ahead of the contract time of October 2019. Pre-Irma amenities, boardwalk, pavilions and parking will be replaced in the same locations. 

Engelmeyer saidconstruction included mitigation and hardening of the parking lots, boardwalk and six pavilions to help prevent a total loss as experienced with Irma. 

“Irma completely destroyed the boardwalk and six pavilions at Anne’s Beach,” Engelmeyer said. “The parking lots experienced erosion and major damage caused by storm surge in the bathrooms. The facilities at Anne’s Beach will be in a similar layout as pre-Irma but much nicer and more resilient.”

With the project ahead of schedule, locals and guests will be sure to check out Anne’s Beach with new boardwalk and pavilions along the oceanfront. Judy Hull, executive director for the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce said she’s thrilled with the progress. Named after environmentalist and Lower Matecumbe resident Anne Eaton, the beach is a popular attraction. 

“Anne’s Beach is one of our most popular attractions,” Hull said. “When people visit us, their first question is where’s the beach?”

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