Bike and Pedestrian Path Project Leverages Funds to Maintain Momentum
Construction of the Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group’s Bike and Pedestrian Use Enhancement Project is continuing uninterrupted due to a strong and productive partnership between the Trustees and the National Park Service. The project, on which construction began in January 2022, was at risk of being scaled back as recent material and labor cost increases resulted in a project funding shortfall. The National Park Service, however, has stepped up to make up the shortfall with non-Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds.
The Bike and Pedestrian Path Project, located at Davis Bayou in the Mississippi District of Gulf Islands National Seashore, was first approved by the Trustees in the 2015 Early Restoration Phase IV Plan. It partially restores for lost recreational opportunities on lands owned by the Department of the Interior that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Roadway improvements will enhance visitor use experiences by providing benefits to bicyclists and pedestrians. The improvements will extend 2.17 miles from Highway 90 to the Visitor Center. We are constructing two multiple-use bicycle-pedestrian lanes—one on each side of the road. These will increase the space available to bicyclists and pedestrians. In order to keep the speed of vehicular traffic at the posted speed limits, traffic calming structures will also be constructed.
Detailed design and engineering work revealed that project funds would cover improvements of only 1.82 miles of the original project road length. A construction contract was awarded for the shorter length and that work also began in January 2022. Rather than accept a reduced project, in December 2021, the National Park Service identified the funds needed to complete the final 0.35 miles of the project. With that work now underway, we are projecting the entire construction will be completed in July 2022.
More information about this project and additional Open Ocean Trustee Implementation projects can be found at the Open Ocean Restoration Area webpage.