Boardwalk construction will begin in the next 10 days. (Source: WECT)
CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) -
For the past two years, Carolina Beach council members have been talking about reconstructing their boardwalk. After receiving $1.5 million in grants from the county and the state, the Carolina Beach boardwalk is about to get a facelift.
"The time is now," said Carolina Beach Town Councilman, Steve Shuttleworth. "What we've done is come up with a design to redo the board walk, widening it, and replace all the timbers."
One of the biggest issues of the boardwalk is the tight squeeze for pedestrian traffic. So council members have decided to double the width and add an additional eight feet.
"The idea is it will be easier for that moms with strollers or people in wheel chairs to get on and off the boardwalk," explained Shuttleworth.
Widening the sidewalk is not the only upgrade the $1.5 million budget is funding. Other enhancements include: adding more swings and benches, upgrading the boardwalk lights to be sea turtle friendly and possibly extending the boardwalk an additional 800 feet towards the Scotchman gas station on Canal Drive.
With all of these changes, businesses along the boardwalk are expecting some heavy construction.
"Certainly it will be obstructive to some of the business along the front of the boardwalk," said Dava Villapiano, the owner of the Silver Dollar. "But they've promised to keep access to all businesses open."
Villapiano said she thinks the on-looker traffic will actually benefit business in the off-season.
"So yeah it's a little disruption, but in the long run I think it will be well worth it," she said.
Carolina Beach Town Council is set to meet with the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission on Wednesday for the final approval to extend the boardwalk an additional 800 feet.