The city of Gulf Shores is now designing the second and final phase of the Lagoon Pass Park project.
It encompasses much more than the park, though. The multi-use pathway there will tie into West Lagoon Avenue which will also get a complete makeover.
The first phase of the Lagoon Pass Project is open and is extremely popular. A new pier, parking lot and multi-purpose path have been a big draw. This next phase will tie all of that in with a much bigger project, aimed at improving accessibility to the waterfront and recreational activities.
“So now, what we’re hoping to do is extend that connectivity from the pier and the park all the way back through the entire length of West Lagoon Avenue, back to Highway 182 and extend that access to our public facilities over two and a half miles,” said Mark Acreman with the city of Gulf Shores.
The existing walkway will connect to a new boardwalk over the saltwater marsh near the park and then parallel West Lagoon Avenue all the way to the beach highway. New pavement with bike lanes on both sides and a detached multi-use path will allow for more people access the area and be safer while doing it.
“We’re trying to build something for everybody, but more importantly make sure that there is an option for bikers, walkers, joggers and runners that doesn’t involve actually utilizing the roadway,” Acreman explained.
A $50,000 matching grant is a small part of the $1.5 million-dollar project. The rest is being paid for with a transportation bond. Two years ago, Gulf Shores added an additional two percent lodging tax to be spent on transportation improvements and that money will be used to pay the debt. Those who live along West Lagoon Avenue are glad to see the improvements coming.
“There’s a lot of people that use this road for the purpose of exercise, maybe for walking, maybe running of biking, but it gets a lot of business as far as that’s concerned and it’s something that’s needed,” said West Lagoon Ave. resident, Steve Whiting.
The planning and design phase will take the rest of this year and if all goes well, the project should be complete by the fall of 2020.