New sidewalks have been added to connect Bud Day Trail to Ferry Park

Crews from the City of Fort Walton Beach have been adding new sidewalks to connect the Bud Day Trail to Ferry Park in Fort Walton Beach. This is part of the City’s plans to add or upgrade the sidewalks throughout city neighborhoods.

Right now there are about 60 miles of sidewalks in the city and about 85% of the city streets actually have a sidewalk on at least one side of the roadway.

“This is a project that will add more walkability and connectivity, not just in the Ferry Park neighborhood but throughout the city, ” said Doug Rainer, PIO for the City of Fort Walton Beach. “And it adds a benefit of a quality of life and quality of place for our residents that adds safety. “

This sidewalk project was actually handled by city staff. From pouring the concrete, to laying new sod and helping residents fix sprinklers.

“I did not want this at all and the reason I didn’t want it is because I don’t like change,” said longtime resident Randy Kuhl. “I’m an old guy! When the city came through with a fellow named Nathan, who’s a supervisor, everything he said he was going to do, he did just that. And beyond that, actually. He very helpful, very kind, very patient. He did everything that he said he would do. I’m surprised.”

The future goal of sidewalks in the city

The future goal is to have a sidewalk on at least one side of every neighborhood street in the city and on both sides of all of the major roadways. According to the city, roughly 85% of street have sidewalks.

“We’re getting close and we are continuing to make those improvements,” said Rainer. “We’re also continuing to improve the current sidewalks where we have issues, with upgrades and cleanups and things like that throughout the year. So you’ll see our crews out on the roadways constantly, either cleaning up, fixing broken sidewalks, or putting in new ones like this.”

Half-cent sales tax improvements

Coming up, the city is planning to start spending some of their half-cent sales tax dollars on Yacht Club and Hughes Street. This is a partnership with Cinco Bayou to resurface the entire roadway on Yacht Club. Hughes Street upgrades will take place in the next few weeks.

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