“We’re very, very excited about this,” Logan Martin Lake Protection Association president Mike Riley said. “It is finally coming to fruition.”
The Pell City Council is expected to approve hiring Mackey Pile Driving & Construction to build the observation platform, along with a 70-foot boardwalk made of composite materials.
Mackey Pile Driving & Construction of Cropwell was the only company to submit a bid for the wetlands project.
“I was a little surprised at that,” Riley said.
He said the project is “very labor intensive.”
“Everything has to be done by hand because it is in a wetlands area,” Riley said.
He said the company’s bid is within the cost range of about $30,000. The LMLPA will reimburse the city for the construction project.
“We do have the money in place to pay for the construction,” Riley said Thursday.
Once the platform is completed, the city is responsible for maintaining the observation platform and boardwalk.
Riley said Mackey Pile Driving & Construction has until March 31 to complete the project.
He said the Pell City Kiwanis Club is revamping the amphitheater at Lakeside Park. The amphitheater is adjacent to where the boardwalk and observation platform is being constructed.
Riley said the amphitheater will provide an area for outdoor classes for students.
“This is going to be a great thing for the kids,” he said.
He said area students will get to see first-hand what they have studied in classrooms in the wetlands area of Lakeside Park. The wetlands observation platform is also open to the general public.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Riley said, adding that local service clubs are wanting to help make the wetlands area not only a place of study, but a place of beauty.
He said the Pell City Garden Club will spruce up the area with native plants.
Riley said the wetlands project is going to be a tremendous draw to Lakeside Park.
He said a lot of work and planning went into the design of the observation deck and boardwalk.
“We got to make sure it’s safe and stable because kids are going to be on it,” Riley said. “We probably overbuilt it.”
LMLPA has worked for years to make the project a reality.
Riley credited LMLPA members Isabella Trussell, who oversees the LMLPA’s water monitoring program, and Dick Franke, who actually designed the structure, for spearheading the efforts to make the wetlands project a reality.
Officials said the 70-foot walkway will provide visitors a 360-degree view of the wetlands at Lakeside Park.
The observation platform is about 12 feet wide and 40 feet long, and about one classroom of students could fill the observation platform, which will have benches that allow the public to get off their feet and rest while enjoying the scenery.
The structure is handicap-accessible and the boardwalk is wide enough for two side-by-side wheelchairs to pass one another.
The structure will also have banisters so small children cannot fall off the walkway or platform and into the water.
Eric Mackey, owner of Mackey Pile Driving & Construction, said Thursday he could start the construction project in December and complete the project before the first of next year.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.