The $3.5 million stormwater project funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is in its final stages on Calhoun Avenue.
On Thursday, workers leveled out what will be a new sidewalk between Clement Taylor Park and Forrest Avenue.
“The new percolation galleries had to be installed under the sidewalk so we had to remove the existing (sidewalk). Because this project was performed in the Multimodal Transportation District (MMTD), we ended up widening the sidewalk to be a new 8-foot-wide trail,” said city spokesperson Doug Rainer in an email.
The sidewalk along Calhoun Avenue is expected to be finished by next week, and the entire project should wrap up within a month.
According to the city's website, Destin is the first city in the state to be named as an MMTD, which is a program that encourages alternate modes of transportation other than cars such as buses, bicycles and walking. The new sidewalks are in compliance for bikes, pedestrians and more.
The six-phase stormwater project began in the fall of 2017 to fix a sinkhole that began to form in the northbound lane of Calhoun Avenue. The project progressed to Spring Lake Drive, and Juanita Avenue and Snapper Drive, where a new exfiltration system and a hydrodynamic separator were installed. An exfiltration system uses drains flanking a highway to funnel water into perforated pipes under highway shoulders. A hydrodynamic separator reduces water pollution by removing sediment and other pollution from stormwater.
From Snapper Drive, the project continued to Maltezos Street, Sandalwood Drive, the Indian Bayou subdivision and finally back where it is now at Calhoun Avenue.
The project was funded to reduce pollution flowing into Destin Harbor, Joe’s Bayou, Indian Bayou, Marler Bayou, the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf.