The Shoreline Park Wetlands Trail Boardwalk Project Breaks Ground This Week
Wetland Trail Boardwalk Project
The Shoreline Park Wetlands Trail Boardwalk Project is breaking ground this week. A ribbon-cutting is planned for the Summer of 2022. The Wetlands Trail Boardwalk will provide a direct connection between the 4-mile multi-use loop (under construction), Gulf Breeze Community Center, Shoreline Park South, wetlands, and Santa Rosa Sound. Environmental education opportunities will be enriched by connecting wetland habitat to the Community Center's after-school Science Technology Engineering And Mathematics (STEM) program. Construction will consist of a 1,600’ pile-supported elevated boardwalk with composite decking over the wetlands, an ADA beach access ramp, and an uncovered nature viewing gazebo with bench seating.
The contractor is Custom Built Marine Construction and the consultant engineer, McKim & Creed. The construction period is 8 months. The laydown area is south of the dog park, cordoned with construction fencing. Citizens should expect to see large equipment in the area such as excavators and pile drivers.
Mayor Fitch had this to say: "This project is the last major trail extension of the City’s 1998 Shoreline Park South Master Plan. It would not be possible without the support of the State of Florida, which recognizes the importance of ecotourism and wetlands habitat. The City has a total of 47.5% (1,386.4 acres) of land area set aside for conservation. A special thank you to Senator Broxson and Representative Andrade for championing this project, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Santa Rosa County Tourism Development, and especially District 5 and 4 Commissioners Colten Wright and Dave Piech."
Total project cost: Approximately $985,190
Florida DEP appropriation grant: $492,595 or 50% of total construction cost
City of Gulf Breeze non-tax dollar reserves: $441,667
Santa Rosa County Tourism Development: $33,333
District 5 Commissioner Colten Wright Discretionary Funds: $25,000
District 1 Commissioner Dave Piech Discretionary Funds: $5,000