Work to widen Hwy. 59 in Gulf Shores starting in January

By GUY BUSBY
Government Editor
guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 11/30/22

GULF SHORES — Work will start in January to add a third southbound lane to Alabama 59 from Coastal Gateway Boulevard south to Fort Morgan Road.Gulf Shores City Council was scheduled to vote …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get the gift of local news. All subscriptions 50% off for a limited time!

You can cancel anytime.
 

Please log in to continue

Log in

Work to widen Hwy. 59 in Gulf Shores starting in January

Posted

GULF SHORES — Work will start in January to add a third southbound lane to Alabama 59 from Coastal Gateway Boulevard south to Fort Morgan Road.

Gulf Shores City Council was scheduled to vote Monday, Nov. 28, to accept the bid of John G. Walton Construction Co. The bid of almost $10.39 million was the lowest of three submissions, said Mark Acreman, city engineer.

Alabama 59 has two southbound lanes and three northbound lanes for most of the distance between Gulf Shores and Foley. The project will add a third southbound lane from north of the Intracoastal Waterway to Fort Morgan Road.

"Both north and south of the ICW bridge, we'll be adding an additional southbound lane to Highway 59," Acreman said. "Northbound of ICW, there's already three northbound lanes, we'll be adding three southbound lanes. The southbound lane will simply peel into Fort Morgan Road and that will be a right-only once it got to Highway 180."

The Walton bid is for the first phase of the project, which will start at Parkway South, near the Gulf Shores Target store, and extend south to Fort Morgan Road. The second phase, from Coastal Gateway Boulevard to Parkway South, will begin in 2023. Acreman said work should start in January and both phases should be complete around February 2025.

Mayor Robert Craft said that while the project is expensive, the work is needed to deal with the increase in traffic.

"We'll get busy with this, because managing growth is the biggest issue that we face here, and these transportation improvements are not going to be fun while it's going on, but you've got to do that," Craft said.

Adding the third lane to the Dr. W.C. Holmes Bridge will take up the space now used as by pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the Intracoastal Waterway. City officials also plan to build a pedestrian bridge across the canal to the east of the Holmes Bridge.

Acreman said the pedestrian bridge should be complete by the time the widening project is finished.

The widening project is part of a $14.4-million Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development, of BUILD, grant the city was awarded by the Federal Highway Administration in November 2019 for capacity improvements on Alabama 59, Acreman said.

The work also includes intersection improvement, drainage improvements and access management to reduce accidents, Acreman said.

Access management will include a landscaped median south of the Holmes Bridge and improvements and consolidation of existing median cuts north of the bridge as well as turn lanes and all the major intersections. Work will also include adding deceleration lanes to all the existing median cuts.

Get the best from Gulf Coast Media in your inbox twice a week. Sign up for our free newsletter.

* indicates required