Spanish Fort city officials recently unveiled a new master plan for improvements they’d like to see made to the Causeway, and passed the master plan at last week’s city council meeting.
“We’ve finally put together what we feel is a very efficient plan that will add a lot of niceties to the Causeway,” Mayor Mike McMillan said. “We will be looking for funds to make this happen, but in order to make that happen, we needed to have a plan.”
Included in the new master plan are a 5.5 mile long pedestrian and bicycle trail along the Causeway’s north side and two parks with picnic areas, parking and fishing piers, as well as a boat launch for residents and visitors with canoes or kayaks.
“This is an opportunity to do something,” McMillan said. “This is going to be a great enhancement for the Causeway.”
McMillan and other officials hosted a community hearing in April to get reaction and ideas from Causeway business owners and residents, some of whom were concerned the new plan could result in increased traffic and cost of the project, as well as who would bear responsibility for upkeep - the city or the Alabama Department of Transportation
McMillan said the proposed changes would likely be rolled out over a 20-year period and that the city fully planned to discuss with ALDOT what each entity’s role would be.
“We’re going to have to sit down with ALDOT and see who will maintain what,” McMillan said. “We’re not going to have sidewalks and all of these other amenities and have it look trashy. We’re going to take care of it. The city and the state will take care of it.”
McMillan said now was the perfect time to develop the plan and try to seek out grant money given the attention being given to the I-10 bridge project.
“We’re trying to find ways to connect it in with the new Bayway,” McMillan. “This is a big opportunity, and we are going to be in the right position to try to move this forward as best as we can.”