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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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Congressman John Mica, from Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, offers remarks during ceremonies prior to the groundbreaking. Seated (left to right) are members of the St. Augustine City Commission: Don Crichlow, Vice Mayor Susan Burk, Mayor George Gardner, Errol Jones and Joe Boles.
For a big construction project, you need a big groundbreaking, and projects don’t come any bigger for the City of St. Augustine than its Visitor Information Center (VIC) Transportation Facility. So, instead of shovels, members of the City Commission joined by Congressman John Mica used something a little bigger to signal the start of construction on the long awaited project; they used backhoes.
Held in the center of the current VIC parking lot, where the new structure will be located, the ceremony took place on Friday, April 22. As members of the community looked on, including many who have participated in the planning of this new facility from its very beginning, Mica and the Commissioners each climbed aboard a brand new 420D Caterpillar backhoe, graciously loaned to the City just for this occasion by Ring Power Corporation and waited for the countdown.
John Regan, the City’s Chief Operating Officer and the project’s manager, lead the crowd in the Countdown: "5…4…3…2…1!" With that, each dignitary pulled a lever and each piece of equipment released its load of dirt and the crowd cheered. It was truly a grand start of a long awaited project.
Members of the City Commission and Congressman John Mica sit at the ready on backhoes arranged in a semicircle as they listened for the countdown from those gathered at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The $18.5 million project, with includes nearly $2 million in federal funding secured through the assistance of Congressman Mica, is scheduled for completion in the early summer of next year. The facility will provide over 1,100 parking spaces, loading and unloading areas for tour vehicles and buses, pedestrian friendly walkways, and a newly renovated visitors’ center all meant to create an organized arrival experience and orientation for visitors to the area’s attractions, restaurants, lodging establishments and shopping opportunities.
Designed in the Mediterranean-Revival style that is synonymous with St. Augustine’s Flagler-era historic architecture, the structure’s details and materials will have much in common with historic buildings throughout downtown including tile roofs, copper domes, textured concrete, and brick columns. Generous landscaping will surround the facility and tree canopied streetscapes will provide shade and comfort for pedestrians.
Conceptual drawing illustrates the pedestrain walkway (looking south) between the transportation facility (right) and the renovated Visitor Information Center (left).
One Part of the Master Plan
Over a decade ago, the St. Augustine community developed a vision for its future that, among many other things, called for a pedestrian friendly environment where traffic and parking are balanced with the needs of residents, visitors and businesses. One integral part of that vision was to construct several parking facilities that would blend in with their surroundings.
Just over two years ago, the City Commission created the Parking and Traffic Committee, a team of residents and business owners, and gave it the task of developing a workable plan to manage vehicles in the city. The result was the 7-point Parking, Circulation and Transit Master Plan.
As part of the early stage of developing the project, a series of community meetings were held with neighborhood associations, the tourism industry and other groups to gather their input and share the plan. The meetings generated many ideas that were incorporated into the design, made stakeholders out of the community as a whole and in general garnered support for the city’s plan as evidenced by an editorial in The St. Augustine Record.
Meet the Project Team
City of St. Augustine
Chief Operations Officer
Prime Consultant & Project Engineer
Walker Parking Consultants
Hugh Cotton, P.E.
Les Thomas Architect, Inc.
Urban Design & Landscape Architecture
Frederick Halback and Associates, Inc.
Perry-McCall Construction, Inc.
Conceptual drawing illustrates the south side of the VIC Transportation Facility (right) with Cordova Street and the St. Johns County School District offices (left).