FOLEY – People walking and riding along Pride Boulevard will soon have better access under a project being planned by the city of Foley.
The Foley City Council discussed the project to widen the walkway access along Pride Boulevard near OWA Boulevard on July 5. Officials said they will prepare a final recommendation to be presented to the council at an upcoming meeting.
Public Works Director Darrell Russell said the plans are intended to widen the 4-foot-wide sidewalk to provide more access for people using the walkway between areas such as OWA, the Tanger Outlet Mall and a recreational vehicle park being built by OWA.
Mayor Ralph Hellmich said OWA donated property on the property that would allow the walkways to be widened. As part of the agreement, golf carts will be allowed to use the new wider access route.
“OWA negotiated with us and one of their requests was that ‘we’ll give you the right of way and we allow golf carts to use that sidewalk to get to our property because that property is golf-cart friendly,’” Hellmich said.
He said the OWA RV park already allows golf carts on the roads. The sidewalk expansion would increase access for residents and visitors in that park as well as workers and others going to OWA, Tanger and other attractions in the area.
“This is a significant difference in just adding to the sidewalk but this is a very prominent area that we have next to our sports tourism,” he said.
Russell said the sidewalk could be widened by adding a 2-foot wide section to the existing walkway. He said that option would cost less, but the new section would be much brighter than the weathered older sidewalk.
A second option would be to replace the current sidewalk with a new walkway. He said the old sidewalk could be used as fill material for city projects.
Council President Wayne Trawick said another option could be to add a wider section of sidewalk to the current walkway. He said a wider section would be more stable when attached to the existing sidewalk and provide more access for carts and walkers at a lower cost than replacing the entire route.
“If you put a little bit and you dowel it in, it’s more likely to fail,” he said. “If you put another sidewalk in and dowel it in, that’s very unlikely and you may be able to get 8-foot for less than 6-foot.”
Trawick said the new sidewalk would soon weather to the same appearance as the existing walkway.