Wrightsville Beach wins state grant for proposed Salisbury Street Park

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After receiving a state grant this week, Wrightsville Beach officials said they were finalizing plans for the proposed $2 million East Salisbury Street Oceanfront Park, which will also include new landscaping, improved sidewalks and new street scaping for the parking areas on both East and West Salisbury Street.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, D, announced Tuesday that Wrightsville Beach will receive a $187,500 grant from the Division of Coastal Management in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, part of more than $1.1 million in grants distributed to several North Carolina beach communities.

A rendering of the proposed East Salisbury Street Oceanfront Park by firm Paramounte Engineering.

So far, the town has received just slightly more than $1 million in private donations to help fund the project. New Hanover County will contribute $500,000 to the project, while Wrightsville Beach will contribute $300,000.

“We have enough to do the project,” Mayor Bill Blair said.

In addition to upgrade in the parking area, the project will also feature a rebuilt “ocean access park,” which in addition to showers and bathrooms, could have other amenities, including a “tides tower” that will help visitors follow the rise and fall of the ocean.

Paramounte Engineering, the firm designing the project, submitted last week the first renderings of the park building, which would be located where the current restroom and shower facilities are next to Johnnie Mercer’s Pier.

Additionally, the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen selected a design for parking on East and West Salisbury Street, which is designed to make traffic flow easier for people searching for parking. While some proposals would have reversed the traffic flow on Lagoon Street, the aldermen ultimately selected one that keeps the one-way street moving in the same direction.

“We want people to be able to enjoy North Carolina’s beautiful coast,” said Michael S. Regan, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. “These funds will help make our beaches and waterways more accessible for the benefit of every visitor, as well as the businesses who benefit from their visit.”

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