Boardwalk will connect West Lagoon trail to Sandpiper Lane
By John Mullen
Gulf Shores discussed nearly $3 million in improvements to the access of the Medical Village where the city is partnering with South Baldwin Regional Medical Center for a freestanding emergency department. The council normally meets on Mondays but instead met on Tuesday, Sept. 8, because of the Labor Day holiday.
Also, during the work session, the council discussed awarding the bid for Little Lagoon Pass Park improvements contract to Blade Construction to construct a boardwalk with a scenic overlook from Sandpiper Lane to the recently
completed West Lagoon Avenue multi-use trail.
The ED will be built east of the airport and just south of the intersection of State Route 59 and Cotton Creek Drive or County Road 4. City staff recommended the council award the bid for the work to McElhenney Construction to build the various transportation infrastructure needed to support the new facility.
Included in this phase one of work at the Medical Village are improvements to the intersection of State Route 59 and 34th Avenue on the west side of the highway and improvements to the entrance of the Medical Village on the east side. Those improvements will include a full traffic signal at the intersection.
In the village itself, the new entranceway to be called Medical Village Boulevard will be built along with an extension of East Second Street which will run in from of the new ED. In phase two, a connector road with Cotton Creek Drive will be built behind the convenience store at State Route 59 and Cotton Creek Drive.
In July, the council awarded a bid for the traffic signal poles and mast arms equipment to Southern Lighting and Traffic Systems for $49,200. Volkert was hired to do all the design and engineering on the project.
According to city documents, there is $1.6 million budgeted this year and the remainder will be paid for in the 2021 budget. All expenditures will be part of the city’s required matching costs for the $14.4 million BUILD Grant received in November 2019.
On the Little Lagoon Park improvements, Blade Construction was the lowest conforming bidder with a price of almost $131,000. The city plans to pay for the work with a $150,000 grant from the Alabama Coastal Area Management Program administered through the Lands Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to improve the park to provide expanded access to the park and pier.
For the west end of the beach, Little Lagoon Park is a popular destination for families to enjoy fishing, kayaking, swimming, and wading. There is also access to the Gulf beaches from this parking lot as well.
Gulf Shores recently improved and expanded the parking lot at the park, added a fishing pier and boardwalks along the water front to connect to nearby neighborhoods. Grant money also helped fund the earlier improvements.
The current project will enhance public access even more and improve connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood with a pedestrian pathway and an elevated wetland boardwalk with an overlook.
The new boardwalk will also meet handicap specifications per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
During work session, council also discussed:
• A request from Ryan Shamburger of Big Beach Brewing to amend the zoning ordinance to make the use of mobile food trucks in nonresidential areas as a “by right” usage. The city is currently conducting a one-year pilot program on food trucks to gather data and study their impacts on the city. That program ends in December and city staff recommended the council vote to table the proposed change until the pilot program has run its course.
• Amending ArchitectureWorks contract for the RESTORE-funded Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism & Sustainability Project to include additional design services identified as necessary through the planning and schematic design phases. The extra cost will be about $65,000 and will be paid for with RESTORE money. Initially $800,000 was in the 2020 budget for this project and $269,000 was spent on preliminary planning and schematic design. $214,320 will be in the 2021 budget to cover the total cost of design and engineering at $1 million for the project.
• A conditional use permit approval for a 44-slip private marina and boat ramp on Waterway West Boulevard. The marina and boat ramp are an amenity for the approved 60-lot, Waterways Cottage Subdivision. Council action is needed to give the permit and the subdivision already has Planning Commission approval.
• Awarding a bid for a new roof on Fire Station No. 2 to Dobson Sheet Metal & Roofing for $98,000. This is a contract to replace the roof on the station on West 10th Street across the street from the Waves store. According to city documents this roof was last replaced after Hurricane Ivan and is due for replacement.
• Items declared as surplus which will be auctioned through govdeals.com beginning Sept. 21 and ending Oct. 5. Some items are going to be donated to Gulf Shores City Schools. The list includes several vehicles and ATVs.
• A public assembly for the 33rd Alabama Coastal Cleanup with locations at the Gulf Place West Second Street pavilion and at Mo’s Landing on Little Lagoon and just off Canal Road.
• An annexation application from Ms. Yula Ludeyeva to annex her property located in River Pines Subdivision. River Pines is located off of County Road 6 West.
• Appointing Marcelinia Sumerlin to the Personnel Board to finish out the term of Jim Howell who recently passed away. Her term will run through March 27, 2023. Sumerlin serves as the HR Manager for the Gulf Shores City Schools.