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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Holds Workshop To Get Input On Streetscape Project

Carolina Beach Holds Workshop To Get Input On Streetscape Project

Click image for larger view: Carolina Beach Town Officials and engineers field questions from citizens about a planned streetscape project to add multi-use paths and other improvements along Cape Fear Blvd, Clarendon Avenue and 5th Street during a meeting held January 8th, at Town Hall.

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH – The Town of Carolina Beach held a workshop Wednesday January 8th to get citizen input on a planned streetscape project for Cape Fear Blvd, Clarendon Avenue and 5th Street.
Following replacement of aging underground water and sewer lines the Town plans to repave Cape Fear Blvd. From Canal Drive to 3rd Street on Cape Fear there will 10-foot wide sidewalks along either side of the road next to public parking. From 3rd Street to Dow Road on Cape Fear Blvd there will be a 10-foot wide asphalt multi-use path on the south side separated from the road by a 5 foot grass area, trees and additional lighting.
On Clarendon Avenue there will be a 10-foot multi-use asphalt path on the south side of the road from 4th Street to 6th Street. The path will switch to the north side of Clarendon Avenue from 6th Street to Dow Road because existing poles and landscaping are too close to the road and would cost to much to relocate. Also, Mike Chappel Park would increase costs if the path were located on the same side of the road and the park is located on Federal land. 
On 5th Street from Clarendon north to Cape Fear Blvd, a new 5 foot wide sidewalk will be installed separated from the road by a small grass area.
The plan is part of a Town wide bike and pedestrian route to connect areas of Town such as the School, State Park, Downtown area and others. The plan also interconnects with a route south to Kure Beach.
Many residents attended the Thursday open house to learn more about the project and express concerns. Some complained about placing a path in front of the homes, a path intersecting their driveways, long term maintenance costs and other issues.
Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin said the project will be brought to the Council again at their February 11th regular meeting. He said he's got a list of concerns and is working on gathering answers and information based on input from the public.
According to Town Manager Michael Cramer, "Currently the Engineers Estimate for the entire Phase 1-A Project from Brian Cox at Engineering Services includes Raw Water Lines, Water Service lines, Sewer Service Lines, Force Main and Streetscape on Clarendon Ave, 5th Street and Cape Fear Blvd for a total project estimate as of December 2, 2013 of approximately $5,500,000. This estimate contains 140 items associated to this project. Of those 140 items, three specifically call out streetscape costs. These are the numbers that are currently available."
Those include:
• Streetscape – Cape Fear Blvd & Lake Park Intersection $ 64,000
• Streetscape – Cape Fear Blvd $1,050,000
• Streetscape – Clarendon Ave $ 585,000
• Total Streetscape Estimate $1,699,000
Cramer explained, "What I have asked Staff and our Engineer to work on is identifying specifics cost of components of the streetscape projects. That information will be sent to council no later than January 31st. That way council will be fully prepared for next month’s public hearing and potential vote on the streetscape components."
The project will be paid for by the Town.
Local resident Ricky Niec contacted Cramer the day after the meeting and explained, "One of my worst fears is the path will look like the path on Old Dow Road in a few years. When you have time, walk down that path. You will see the ground surrounding the path is overgrown with cactus and sandspurs (especially during the warm months). Also, notice how the tree branches are growing over the path, If you are riding a bike, you need to watch out for the branches. I think someone, either the city workers or a contractor, picks up the trash (but not the dog feces) along that path. That level of maintenance is okay for a path along a stretch of road with no houses, but a path that looks like that will NOT be acceptable when the path is 20 feet outside my front door!"
Todd McCabe of Landscapes Unlimited - the Town's landscaping contractor - was asked by Public Works Director Brian Stanberry about the estimated annual maintenance costs associated with the new streetscape project.
McCabe explained, "Brian, here are some numbers to give you an idea of what the additional maintenance costs should be for Cape Fear Blvd and Clarendon once the streetscape project is complete. I checked the contract and Cape Fear is not in it so technically speaking we are only supposed to do it monthly when we do the right of ways. They have been keeping it mowed more frequently from Lake Park to the Library though." McCabe offered the following cost estimates:
Cape Fear Blvd:
• Mowing, edging walkway, trimming/edging tree rings, etc equals 20 visits per year = $1470.00 additional per year.
• Tree Pruning equals Approx. $2450.00 per year.
Clarendon Avenue:
• Mowing, edging walkway, trimming, etc equals 20 visits per year = $924 additional per year.
McCabe explained those figures don't include irrigation management or mulch for landscaping.

Top: Existing layout for Cape Fear Blvd from 3rd Street west to Dow Road. Bottom: Proposed layout with a sidwalk on the north side and a 10' multi-use path on the south side with additional trees and lighting.

Top: Existing layout for Cape Fear Blvd from Canal Drive to Lake Park and then to 3rd Street. Bottom: Proposed layout with 10' sidewalks on either side.

Top: Existing layout for Clarendon Avenue from 6th Street to Dow Road. Bottom: Proposed layout with a 10' wide multi-use path switching from the southside to the north side of the road.

Top: Existing layout for Clarendon Avenue from 4th Street to 6th Street. Bottom: Proposed layout with a 10' wide multi-use path on the south side of the street with additional trees.