32963 Homepage

Want to purchase reprints of your favorite 32963 or photos?

Copies of Vero Beach 32963 can be obtained at the following locations:


Our office HQ: (located at 4855 North A1A)
1. Corey's Pharmacy
2. 7-Eleven

(South A1A)
3. Major Real Estate Offices


1. Vero Beach Book

2. Classic Car Wash
3. Divine Animal
4. Sunshine Furniture

5. Many Medical

Jaycee Park and Conn Beach get infusion of sand

STORY BY LISA ZAHNER (Week of December 15, 2022)

Just a month after Hurricane Nicole swept ashore south of Vero, clawing sand from the Jaycee Park and Conn Beach dunes and forcing closure of the adjacent section of Ocean Drive, the beachfront road is again open to traffic and walkers have been allowed to return to the heavily trodden boardwalk.

“Conn Beach has been restored as much as possible for now,” said Vero Public Works Director Matthew Mitts.  “Some access points and parking will remain closed.

“We are evaluating options to rebuild in a more resilient manner, but no decision has been made at this time,” he added.

While a steady parade of dump trucks brought in load after load of sand, which was used to shore up the dunes along this stretch of Vero’s oceanfront, the city is limited to emergency dune repairs.  Large-scale, engineered sand projects on the city’s beaches falls under the county’s jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the Central Beach boardwalk at Humiston Park remains closed.

“We have directed users at Humiston to use an access at Flamevine Lane just south of the park for the time being. Signs directing patrons are to be installed shortly,” Mitts said.

“We are trying to get one access point at Humiston open in January, but the boardwalk remains condemned. We are still evaluating options.”

Further north on the island, the County Commission was planning to spend between more than half a million dollars to repair county beach parks severely eroded by Hurricane Nicole and its predecessor, Hurricane Ian.

A county bid packet for emergency repairs needed after Ian brushed past Vero in late September had already been published when Nicole hit Indian River County, so staff asked the contractors to adjust their bids based upon the additional need for sand at Golden Sands Beach Park, Wabasso Beach Park, Turtle Trail Beach Park, Seagrape Beach Park and Tracking Station Beach Park.

Six companies submitted bids ranging from $662,000 to $1.2 million, and county Purchasing Manager Jennifer Hyde recommended commissioners accept the lowest responsive bid from Guettler Brothers Construction LLC of Fort Pierce. The county has recent history with this firm, as Guettler completed the second phase of a North Barrier Island beach and dune replenishment project. The vote to award the bid was set to take place this Tuesday.

The work was expected to begin in early January, weather permitting, and to be completed by Feb. 23 ahead of the March 1 start of sea turtle nesting season.

“Tracking Station Beach Park received significant storm damages from Hurricane Nicole,” said County Conservation Lands Manager and Assistant Parks Director Beth Powell. “The dune system was eroded to the Sea Grapes and woody vegetation area at the point where the three access structures crossed the sandy dune.”

In addition to sand, the county faces major repairs and in some cases total replacement of structures at the beach parks. Not surprisingly, Tracking Station tops that list as well.

“Parks staff obtained services from a structural engineer to conduct damage assessments and evaluate the three boardwalk structures and lifeguard tower,” Powell said of Tracking Station Beach Park.

On Dec. 6, engineers reported “all three boardwalk structures are not suitable for use by the public and are not safe.  Minor repairs will also be necessary to the lifeguard stand and access stairs. The northern two structures will need to complete replacement and significant professional repairs must be made to the southernmost boardwalk,” Powell said.

County recreation and public works employees are working to provide pedestrian access at Tracking Station, as the Town of Indian River Shores did after emergency repairs to the Beachcomber Lane beach access. 

“After renourishment activities, it may be possible to utilize the heavy equipment dune/sand access as a temporary pedestrian access in order to open the beach to the public.  However, the scope of work and scheduling has not yet been provided to us in detail,” Powell said. “Should the renourishment work be completed and create a safe public access via beach sand to the beach, we will make accommodations to reopen the beach park with limited access as soon as possible.”

In the meantime, the county asks beachgoers to visit its six other beach parks and access areas north or south of the Tracking Station.