December 13, 2016

MEMO TO: Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Proposed Bogue Inlet Drive Improvements (Street Realignment, New Bicycle Path, Lighting and Aesthetic Improvements) - (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to review proposed improvements to Bogue Inlet Drive (approximately 1,100 linear ft. between NC 58 and Bogue Inlet Pier) at the December 13 meeting.  If the Board is comfortable with the proposed improvements, the Board is asked to approve a related General Fund budget amendment and two capital project ordinances to formally appropriate funds for the project.  Town staff would then seek construction bids for the proposed improvements, with a goal to complete all improvements prior to the 2017 tourism season.

Proposed Design

As you know, Bogue Inlet Drive is in one of the oldest areas of Emerald Isle, and is heavily travelled by visitors to Bogue Inlet Pier, which is a popular destination for residents and visitors in our community.  The Town has been considering strategies to improve the appearance of this area for the past several years.

Additionally, the FY 16-17 budget includes a total of $70,000 for the construction of a new bicycle path segment along Bogue Inlet Drive to connect the NC 58 bike path with Bogue Inlet Pier to  provide a safe route for bicyclists and pedestrians in this area.  As Town staff began planning for the bike path project in recent months, we sought to construct the bicycle path in a location with the least impact on nearby property owners and also considered strategies to improve the overall appearance and function of Bogue Inlet Drive.  As a result of these planning efforts, we are now recommending additional street improvements in addition to the new bicycle path, and believe that the proposed design will result in a more functional streetscape, will minimize impacts on nearby property owners, and will greatly improve the aesthetics of Bogue Inlet Drive.

I have attached a copy of the proposed streetscape design for the Board’s review.  As you will note, the following elements are included in the proposed design:

  • the public street right of way for Bogue Inlet Drive is 50 feet,

  • a new 10 ft. wide bicycle path would be constructed on the west side of the public right of way, approximately 3 – 5 feet inside the right of way line,

  • the existing concerete sidewalk on the east side of the public right of way would be removed altogether,

  • the existing asphalt road (approximately 20 ft. wide) would be shifted approximately 6 – 8 ft. to the east, and the eastern edge of pavement would be located approximately on the back edge of the existing sidewalk, thus “freeing up” additional space on the west side of the street pavement to enable a more comfortable bicycle path layout,

  • the eastern edge of pavement for the realigned street would be approximately 3 – 5 feet inside the right of way line, and generally in line with the back edge of the existing sidewalk,

  • aproximately 6 – 8 ft. of existing asphalt would be removed from the western edge of pavement, and would be replaced with grass; this area would become part of the grassy separation between the street and the bicycle path (approximately 10 ft. total separation),

  • the street would be completely resurfaced from NC 58 to the entrance to Bogue Inlet Pier, resulting in a “brand new” appearance,

  • a total of 5 decorative street lights (every 200 linear ft.), matching the existing lights on NC 58, would be installed in the grassy area between the new bicycle path and the new street,

  • additional trees would be added to the grassy area between the new bicycle path and the new street, and this grassy area would also include a swale to infiltrate storm water runoff,

  • painted crosswalk blocks would be used to delineate the bicycle path in front of existing parking spaces associated with the commercial building on the southwest corner of Bogue Inlet Drive and NC 58; no commercial parking spaces would eliminated, and

  • the existing entry shack at Bogue Inlet Pier would be relocated (pier owner Mike Stanley is supportive of this project and indicated this would not be a concern).

Not including the cost to resurface Bogue Inlet Drive with new asphalt, the total estimated cost to realign the street ($40,000) and add decorative lighting ($8,000) and trees ($2,000) is approximately $50,000.  The attached General Fund budget amendment and capital project ordinance amendments appopriate these additional funds if the Board concurs with the proposed design.

The total estimated cost to resurface the street is approximately $35,000, and this street resurfacing will be incorporated into the Town’s annual street resurfacing contract this spring, and ultimately funded separately by the Town’s Powell Bill distribution.

Because this work involves only minor disturbance and very little additional impervious coverage, I don’t believe any permits are necessary for this work.  Bogue Inlet Drive is currently served by an existing NCDOT drainage system near NC 58, and this will not change.  In reality, the creation of a new storm water swale between the improved street and the bicycle path should slightly enhance storm water management in this area. 

Town staff have discussed the proposed improvements with pier owner Mike Stanley and Larry Watson, owner of the commercial building near NC 58, and both were supportive of the project.  Although all work will occur within the public street right-of-way, Town staff will also reach out to other property owners in this area in the coming weeks.  If the Boad concurs with the proposed design, Town staff will solicit construction bids in the coming weeks, and seek to present a construction contract recommendation to the Board at either the January or February meeting.  Our goal would be to complete the proposed improvements by the end of April, if not sooner.

Budget Amendment – General Fund

The attached General Fund budget amendment appropriates an additional $42,000 from various revenue sources to fund the majority of the additional cost of the proposed improvements.  As noted above, the additional cost associated with the street realignment is approximately $40,000 and the additional cost of trees is approximately $2,000, and this budget amendment would essentially fund these items.

Fortunately, several General Fund revenue sources are tracking better than anticipated so far this fiscal year, and Laura Rotchford, Finance Director, and I are comfortable recommending the formal appropriation of these additional revenues.  The bulk of the additional revenue included in the attached General Fund budget amendment is associated with higher than anticipated hurricane re-entry permit revenues, ABC store revenues, and beach driving permit revenues.

Capital Project Ordinance Amendment – Bicycle and Pedestrian Fund

The attached capital project ordinance amendment formally transfers a total of $78,000 from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Fund to the new capital project ordinance established for the proposed Bogue Inlet Drive improvements.  Of this amount, $70,000 was included in the FY 16-17 budget, and is merely a procedural adjustment.  (The Board will recall that $36,000 is derived from reserve funds previously appropriated for new traffic signal poles, and $34,000 is derived from bicycle and pedestrian fundraising proceeds overseen by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.)

The additional $8,000 is associated with the proposed decorative street lights, and is derived from bicycle and pedestrian fundraising proceeds overseen by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.  Ken Stone, Committee Chairman, has indicated the Committee’s support for the use of these funds for the decorative street lights.  After the appropriation of this $8,000, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Fund will have a remaining balance of approximately $9,000.

Capital Project Ordinance – Bogue Inlet Drive Improvements

The attached capital project ordinance is new, and will be used to account for all project revenues and expenditures.  As noted, a total of $42,000 is transferred from the General Fund and $78,000 is transferred from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Fund, resulting in a total project budget of $120,000. 

I look forward to discussing the proposed Bogue Inlet Drive improvements at the December 13 meeting, and I believe they will make a significant improvement in the function and appearance of Bogue Inlet Drive in this area.  Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation Director, and Ken Stone will also attend the meeting to offer their insights and expertise.