GULF SHORES — With continued growth and a new bridge expected over the Intracoastal Waterway, Gulf Shores is updating its master street plan to prepare for demands of the future.The city …
GULF SHORES — With continued growth and a new bridge expected over the Intracoastal Waterway, Gulf Shores is updating its master street plan to prepare for demands of the future.
The city council voted Monday, Sept. 26, to approve a contract with Skipper Consulting to update the city's Master Street Plan. The company will be paid $37,500, according to the resolution.
Mark Acreman, city engineer, said the plan is a guide for not only streets, but development throughout Gulf Shores.
"This is a comprehensive plan that spells out future transportation projects for the city," Acreman told council members. "It's used as a kind of, no pun intended, road map for planning and zoning as we work with developers, as we work on planning out our 10-year capital, these are the projects we keep on the radar to be sure our transportation needs are met."
He said that while the original plan was adopted in 2020, recent changes require that it be updated.
"For the major street plan to remain an invaluable tool for planning and zoning, it must be periodically updated to reflect the progress that's been made in this implementation as well as the ever-changing surrounding environment," Acreman said. "So, if we don't get this thing updated, it's just another project that sits on the shelf and never gets used. We don't want to see that happen. This is a living document that we need to keep updated."
Changes include the 2020 census reflecting the growth of Gulf Shores in the last 10 years as well as the recent announcement that the Alabama Department of Transportation is going ahead with plans for the new bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway.
"We need to stay current with proposed land uses, such as the future city school sites as well as the proposed sportsplex on the Foley Beach Express," Acreman said. "To incorporate completed and proposed new projects into the plan, we've got to go ahead and take into account the ones we've completed in the last two years as well as the ones that have been coming up since the last two years."
At the Sept. 26 meeting, the council approved a property exchange and purchase agreement with the Alabama Department of Natural Resources to allow Waterway East Boulevard to be extended to the site of the new bridge.
Under the agreement, Gulf Shores will acquire ADCNR property at the Claude Peteet Mariculture Center needed for right of way for the new road. The city will also donate municipal property to the state. The mariculture center property is valued at $199,100. The donated city right of way is valued at $64,400.
Under the agreement, the city will pay the state the difference of $134,700.
Mayor Robert Craft said plans are moving forward on the new bridge.
"We have not heard any additional changes in process," Craft said at the Sept. 26 meeting. "The bids will be opened this Friday for the construction of the roadway from Cotton Creek Drive to the bridge over the Intracoastal and back to (Alabama) 180."