Wrightsville Beach board moves forward with firm for proposed Salisbury Street Park

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With a focus on on a speedy completion, the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen selected an engineering firm to begin work on the proposed project for Salisbury Street that would remake the parking lot by Johnnie Mercer’s Pier into a showcase for the town.

In choosing Wilmington-based Paramounte Engineering over two other firms, the board went with the engineers that produced the initial design sketches of the tentatively-titled “East Salisbury Ocean Access Park,” which would see the addition of improved landscaping along Salisbury Street, as well as a seaside park that would feature improved amenities and more activities for families. In July, Mayor Bill Blair announced he had secured $2 million in private and county funding for the park.

In presenting ideas to the board, a representative for Paramounte Engineering predicted that the park would become “a new legacy for Wrightsville Beach.” Each firm described the project as an entrance way for visitors to Wrightsville Beach, potentially featuring landscaping, art, historical markers and amenities for kids and adults alike.

During the presentation, Blair said that since much of the funding comes from private donors, it was critical to get the project moving quickly, with a spring 2020 target date for completion.

In its presentation, representatives of Paramounte Engineering said the design for the park would include decorative paving, stamped asphalt, improved sidewalks, decorative lighting, a park for kids and educational markers.

However, the full scope of the project isn’t yet determined, town manager Tim Owens said. Town officials will meet with representatives of the firm to determine not only the scope of the project, but also narrow down a price, which will then be taken to the board during its October meeting.

The initial plans for the park include a beach playground area with sea themed sculptures and climbing structures for kids, expansion of the bathrooms and changing rooms, new street lighting, specialty paving, new crosswalks, improved stormwater drainage and wider sidewalks. Landscaping could include vitex, muhly grass, daylily, live oaks and variegated pittosporum hedge.

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