Skate park improvements put on hold

Skate park improvements put on hold
FDOT approves light at Fort Morgan Rd. and West Second St.
By John Mullen
Improvements to the skate park at Sims Park was put on hold at the May 10 meeting of the Gulf Shores City Council. Bids were much higher than what was planned for in the 2021 budget and the work will likely be considered later. Three contractors’ offers were way off from what was budgeted to complete the work.
“It was interesting to see how far out of budget it was,” Craft said. “One of them was almost three times and there was nothing less than double.”
Bids ranged from $180,000 to $123,000 when the city was hoping to spend about $60,000 to make a restroom at the skate park accessible from the outside of the building.
“What we had proposed to do was to modify the existing skate park building and convert one of the interior restrooms into an exterior public restroom and install a sidewalk so you could come from the kids’ park and use the restroom there instead of having to walk to the concession stand restroom,” Construction Manager Clint Colvin told the council. “We opened bids on April 13 and unfortunately all three bids we received were significantly over budget.”
Colvin recommended the council reject all the bids and look to include the project at a later date.
“We will reevaluate the situation and possibly include in a future project and future budget year,” Colvin said. “For a temporary solution we would go ahead and install the sidewalk to connect from kids’ park behind the rear of the skate park building to at least make it easier to get to the existing restroom.”
City Administrator Steve Griffin told Council that the Alabama Department of Transportation has backtracked its initiall opposition and now approves of a traffic signal at Fort Morgan Road and West Second Street. When the city first improved the intersection of Fort Morgan Rd. and Hwy. 59 for a signal one block west at Second St.,. part of that work was to include a traffic signal, but that was not warranted by ALDOT, according to Griffin.
A consulting firm hired to help with the work and City Engineer Mark Acreman, Griffin said, persisted in pursuit of having the light approved.
“To Mark Acreman’s credit, Darryl Skipper with Skipper Consultants, they kept pressing and last week we got notice that traffic signal is warranted so we’re in the permitting stages,” Griffin said. “In the next several months I anticipate having that light erected. It makes for a much safer and better situation. That light should be up by the end of the year.”

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