DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) – One major project in the city is complete with May Day Park reopening just last week.
“It looks pretty nice out here. I’m going to start getting out here and fish out here a little more,” said Caliq Sanders.
But, just to the north work continues in Daphne to reopen another popular park along Mobile Bay.
“They’ve been doing a great job moving quickly. We’re going to have landscaping, our decorative lighting that you see in Olde Towne we’ll be following that down so you’ll have lighting all the way down the street,” said Daphne Mayor Robin LeJeune Wednesday.
The only way to and from the park, Bayfront Park Dr., is expected to reopen in November and possibly ahead of schedule, but for now customers trying to get to businesses, like Moe’s Original BBQ, are still navigating the construction.
“Everyday I see people of all ages hiking to the restaurant, whether they have to go 10ft or a quarter mile. I’ve seen people walk through the construction and park up the road because it is a little bit confusing on what to do and where to park,” said owner Mark White.
Major improvements, including street parking, sidewalks and new paving part of a facelift that will eventually include an amphitheater, pier expansion and other updates along the waterfront. Ultimately, the goal is to create a walkable entertainment area leading to the bay.
“We got the GOMESA grant for the amphitheater. That’s phase two. Phase three and four could interchange. One is the pier extension and one is the boardwalk along the bay, so we’ll look at what works, what we can afford,” LeJeune explained.
White says the improvements come at a cost, though. He’s seeing fewer customers since the project began late last year, but he knows ultimately this is a good thing for the Eastern Shore.
“Forever everybody’s had to park on the road up and down the street. Now, there will actually be paver parking and a big public parking lot across the street as well as striped parking behind the restaurant,” he added.
Once the first phase wraps up this year, the additional phases could take several years to complete.