Gulf Shores soon to begin 2-year Alabama 59 widening project
GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - The city of Gulf Shores is one step closer to widening Alabama 59 and adding a pedestrian bridge over the Intercoastal Waterway. The City Council passed its 2023 Transportation Plan Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, greenlighting several projects. They will include one big one which will affect residents and visitors alike.
“The widening of Highway 59 is going to be one of the most significant transportation improvement projects we’ve ever undertaken,” said Gulf Shores City Engineer, Mark Acreman. “Highway 59 is our busiest roadway in our community, and it sees over fifty thousand cars a day in the summertime.”
The project will go out for bid in the next few weeks. It will add a third southbound lane from Coastal Gateway Boulevard on the north end to Fort Morgan Road to the south. It will be done in two phases. The first will take it from the Pelican Place at Craft Farms shopping center to Fort Morgan Road with the second phase finishing the north end. The city will also be building what it believes is a first of its kind bridge for pedestrians.
“Wat we’re having to do to mitigate the loss of a pedestrian lane going across the ICW is to build a freestanding pedestrian bridge to safely move people who need to walk of bike into our community over the ICW,” Acreman explained.
The total cost of the widening project, including the pedestrian bridge is about $15 million. Grants will pay for roughly half with the city picking up the rest. Acreman sees nothing but positive impacts coming to the city.
“We will greatly be increasing the capacity of our motorists and be able to get them to and from the community and throughout our community and that will help our residents,” said Acreman “It will help our visitors and the folks that commute into our community to work.”
This will be the beginning of about five years and $80 million worth of planned transportation improvements in Gulf Shores. Meanwhile, the two existing lanes of Alabama 59 will remain open for the duration of this project.
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