Thaddeus Mast | Naples Daily News
Published April 2, 2021, updated April 3, 2021
Barefoot Beach is getting an upgrade, but construction will close the boardwalk, pavilions and part of the parking lot for weeks, according to a Collier County Parks and Recreation official.
Collier County will begin the Barefoot Beach Access Construction Project on Monday, April 5. The access point at 5901 Bonita Beach Road will get a new boardwalk and repairs to five pavilions, Project Manager Michael Cherbini said.
“We’re redoing the boardwalk, which is currently synthetic wood, and replacing it with Brazilian hardwood,” Cherbini said.
The beachside pavilions will get new benches, wood and awnings, he said.
Parks and Recreation aims to finish the project by Memorial Day, although material shortages could push construction into June, Cherbini said.
The project, which is estimated to cost around $300,000, is being funded by tourist taxes on short-term rentals and hotel stays.
Money is set aside to relocate any gopher tortoise nests found in the path of the construction work.
Sea turtle nesting season forced the project to begin in April, Cherbini said. The sea turtle protection season runs from May to October, and state statutes make beach construction difficult during these months. Parks and Recreation wants to finish part of the project before the season begins.
“We have a very successful sea turtle season because we take these precautions,” Cherbini said.
The sandy waterfront can still be reached from the Bonita Beach Access, which is less than 100 feet north of the Collier County Barefoot Beach boardwalk.
Most of the parking lot will still be accessible, with construction taking up six to eight spots near the small roundabout, Cherbini said.