City awarded design funds for Pt. Brown sidewalks, bike lanes

The city of Ocean Shores is updating its six-year transportation plan after receiving a grant to begin concept and design work for sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and pedestrian lighting on Point Brown Avenue.

The project would be on both sides of Point Brown from the city gates at Damon Road to Chance a la Mer.

In an initial presentation to the city last month, Karla Roberts of the city engineering department noted the project already is listed in the six-year plan the city is required to submit to the state Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

Roberts also briefed the Planning Commission about the grant last Tuesday.

Because of the grant funds, from the federal Transportation Alternative Program, the city will receive $205,000 to do the design work and then will have to secure or set aside money to do the actual construction, Roberts said.

A public hearing on the issue Feb. 10 was brief with no public comment.

“Funding became available quickly at the last minute,” Roberts said of the grant. “It was one of the few places that didn’t have a stipulation on doing the construction and the design” at the same time.

So the city applied for the initial design work.The project would include crosswalks and pedestrian-activated lights as well as lighting in general, Roberts said. And the sidewalks and bike lanes would link up with the pedestrian walkway already completed from Point Brown to North Beach Jr./Sr. High School.

“Because it’s state and federal funding, we won’t be allowed to just run a sidewalk to the gates and stop there. We have to connect to the other sidewalks,” Roberts said.

Under a temporary timeline, Roberts expects the city will be advertising for a consultant to do the design work in late March and then a call for proposals in April.

Engineering work is expected to be completed by December.

“Then in January 2015, I will start applying for construction grants,” Roberts said. A public hearing would be held before the City Council.

One of the rules for accepting the money is that the city has 15 years to finish construction, Roberts added.


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