Work almost complete on Marler Street parking lot

Matt Algarin
Work on the Marler Street parking lot is expected to wrap up in the next 10 days, according to city officials. Once completed, the parking lot will accommodate 147 vehicles.

Work is close to wrapping up at the Marler Street parking lot less than six months after construction broke ground.

"We're expecting to be done in about a week-and-a-half to two weeks," said David Campbell, community redevelopment agency projects manager.

Construction began in January, and as of Monday, the majority of the work remaining was focused on the bus turnout that sit along U.S. Hwy. 98, just west of the Marler Street intersection. The bus turnout is part of the city's overall multimodal plan, which aims to make the city more pedestrian and mass-transportation friendly.

After the completion of the harbor boardwalk, addressing the parking issue along the harbor was the next step for city leaders, as the harbor area became more of a draw, creating a need for more parking.

All told, the new parking lot will be able to accommodate 147 vehicles, and will have a total of six handicapped parking spaces.

Improvements to the parking lot include paving, striping, lighting, landscaping and irrigation improvements, and pedestrian improvements. Before the project began, the lot was filled with gravel, and rubber wheel stops had been installed to act as a "surface" parking lot until improvements could be made.

The contract with Gulf Coast Utility Contractors for the Marler Street parking lot is for $399,165.

As of Monday, the sidewalks had been formed and the physical transformation was almost complete. There were still some smaller projects to be completed like laying sod and adding landscaping.

"Now, they just have to pave it," Campbell told The Log.

While a specific date has yet to be determined, Campbell said there would be a ribbon cutting once the project is completed. The city aims to have the lot functional for next week’s Blessing of the Fleet event on Thursday.