$20 million to be spent on Gulf Shores beach, highway improvemen - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

$20 million to be spent on Gulf Shores beach, highway improvements

GULF SHORES, AL (WALA) -

With the 46th Annual National Shrimp Festival wrapped up, construction crews are hard at work on phase two of Gulf Place beach renovations in Gulf Shores.  Along with beachfront improvements, work has also begun on new sidewalks along Highway 182.  That’s part of the city’s commitment to improve safety for pedestrian traffic in the area. 

The city of Gulf Shores is paying for the majority of the $20 million dollars’ worth of improvements, while ALDOT will share the cost of improvements along Gulf Beach Highway.  About fifteen million of that will be spent on all three phases of Gulf Place improvements while the rest will go towards sidewalks, crosswalks and several additional signal lights along the highway.

Thousands of screws are coming up and the familiar boardwalk at the Gulf Shores public beach is coming out.  Crews began removing the familiar walkway this week.

“We plan to save it, keep it and use it in other areas within the city,” said Grant Brown with the city of Gulf Shores.

A 15 foot wide concrete sidewalk will replace the old boardwalk.  A town green, a kids’ playground and wave lawn will also be added.  Folks who vacation in Gulf Shores are glad to see the improvements coming.

“I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful when it’s done,” said Gary Allen from Arnold, MO.  “We really liked the way it was set up before, but I’m sure it’s going to be an improvement.”

An increasing concern for the city has been pedestrian safety.  With tremendous foot traffic along Gulf Beach Highway, Gulf Shores has partnered with ALDOT to add sidewalks, crosswalks and more signal lights.  Contractors are already working on the sidewalk foundation on the south side of the highway.  

Eight Mast Arm traffic signals will be added between West 6th Street and East 4th.  Left turn lanes will be added and raised medians will separate east and westbound vehicle traffic.  Additional crosswalks will give pedestrians more safe options getting to and from the beach, something Steve and Holly Duke from Oklahoma City welcome.

“I think eventually it’ll be great.  It’ll be safer for people walking up and down the street, you know.  I’m sure in the high season it’s worse than it is now as far as people trying to cross,” Steve Duke said.  “I think it’ll be a great thing when it’s done.”

The sidewalks, raised medians and crosswalks should all be complete by May of next year.  The same goes for phase two of the Gulf Place beachfront.  Signal light installation won’t be finished until sometime in September.  City officials said ALDOT will then repave Highway 182 all the way from Gulf State Park to the west end.  
 

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