Bridge Repair to cause Loop Detour
By Audrey Parente, Staff Writer for The Daytona Beach News-Journal
ORMOND BEACH — Views of lush live oak tree tunnels, palmetto groves and natural landscape prized by cyclists, bikers and runners will be interrupted when the Tomoka Park Bridge shuts down for repairs Monday.
The gap in that stretch of Beach Street that runs into Old Dixie Highway will send The Loop enthusiasts off on a two-mile detour to U.S. 1 for at least two weeks, said Judy Sloane, county river and bridge director.
“We met with The Loop people a couple of times about closing the road so there were no special events planned,” Sloane said. “The majority of it will be open — the more scenic part from High Bridge (Road) and Walter Boardman (Lane) — but you will need to exit at Pine Tree (Drive). If you want to go to Tomoka State Park, you have to come from the south.”
On Friday, his last day of work before retiring, park manager Benny Woodham said the bridge closing and detour would be an inconvenience for those who ride The Loop.
“The majority of our people come in from Route 40, following signs off the interstate,” Woodham said. “Campers coming in for the Rolex can get to the track from here.”
But among the 100,000-or-so campers who come yearly for canoeing, kayaking and wildlife observation, those who like to run, ride or travel The Loop won’t be able to do it heading north on Beach Street from the park, he said.
Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail advocacy group Chairman Joe Jaynes said the closing won’t be all bad.
“It’s going to impact people who bike and want to go all the way around,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing in the long run. The last time they closed it down and repaired it, they enhanced it and the walkways were replaced, so that was a good thing.”