Park Enhancement Project calls for qualified contractors

Gulf Shores, AL – Following the Dune Restoration, The Gulf State Park Enhancement Project is continuing its work with the release of two separate bid packages for trail expansion and Lodge foundation construction. These two bid packages are a big step toward the Project’s broader goals to increase the enjoyment and use of Gulf State Park’s natural resources, in addition to enhancing public understanding of Alabama’s valuable coastal ecosystems and bettering the environment.

“By expanding the current trail system and rebuilding the lodge, we are going to be able to bring people even closer to the natural beauty that exists throughout Gulf State Park,” said Cooper Shattuck, spokesman for the park’s enhancement project.

The trail construction bid package will cover approximately 9.5 miles of new trails within the park. The expansion plans also call for 3.5 miles of the existing trail network to be improved with interpretive elements and signage. Work on the expansion is being divided into multiple stages, with the horizontal trails being executed first, followed by raised elements (bridges and boardwalks) and finishing with signage and interpretive elements. Construction will begin in February of 2016 with opening of the new trails scheduled for the fall.

The Lodge foundation package will kick-off the process for rebuilding the Gulf State Park Lodge, which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The lodge will be a state-owned overnight stay and meeting facility that will improve public access to the park’s natural resources. Additionally, it will serve as an example of resilient, environmentally friendly coastal development. The lodge will be rebuilt within a smaller footprint on the site of the original facility, which had been there since the 1970s, minimizing the environmental impact.

In an effort to maintain an aggressive project schedule, construction of the lodge will be divided into multiple bid packages, which allows for construction of the foundations to begin prior to completion of the building design, a standard practice in the construction industry that expedites construction. Construction of the foundation will begin in February 2016 with building construction scheduled to begin this summer.

The Gulf State Park Enhancement Project will provide ecologically sensitive enhancement to the 6,150-acre park located in Baldwin County, Alabama. The enhancement project will expand more than nine miles of trails; restore the dunes and wildlife habitat; rebuild the lodge that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004; create a research and education center; and construct an environmental information center. This stretch of coastline runs from Gulf Shores to Orange Beach, and is operated by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Contact: Nathan Mellor

781.966.4151 or 330.696.1238