Kitty Hawk Rec Committee offers feedback on proposed bypass multi-use path

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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Kitty Hawk’s recreation committee met for a special meeting at 4pm on February 21 at town hall to discuss and give feedback on concept designs for a sidewalk along US 158, spanning from Cypress Knee Trail to Jejac St. on the west side.

First, town manager Melody Clopton relayed to the committee information regarding a meeting that was held between herself, Kitty Hawk’s Mayor Craig Garriss, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Pruitt and a state representative regarding plans for phase 2 of Sandy Run Park. “The state, staff and mayor are all in favor of moving forward with that project,” she reported.

The project requires approval from the local area committee (LAC); Clopton said herself and the state will work in tandem to organize a presentation at their next meeting. Chairman Paul Henriques suggested the rec committee round up town staff and the public to attend the LAC meeting and express interest for the project, along with new Kitty Hawk trails. “I’ve come to realize lately that that’s what Kitty Hawk has, natural resources, and that can make us different and if we can do this right and preserve while promoting and educating,” Clopton spoke in agreeance.

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The following order of business was to provide feedback on two conceptual sidewalk plans, proposed to run along the west side of the bypass in Kitty Hawk, from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Concept 1 consisted of constructing a 10-foot multiuse path from Cypress Knee Trail to Jejac St., made of asphalt, amounting to a total material cost of $1,548,566. Concept 2 offered a 5-foot sidewalk made of concrete from the aforementioned roads, not including bicycle lanes, at a total material cost of $1,088,000.

The committee was in agreeance that concept 1 provided more advantages. Henriques shared, “In my mind … it’s going to be more advantageous to have something wider … when we add dogs and bikes and multi-use.” Board member Peter Mantz agreed, “It’s a no-brainer.” Vice Chairman Kip Tabb pointed out that concept 2 did not include bike lanes, adding, “Given the amount of people we see on bicycles … I guarantee people are going to get on there on bikes.”

Board member David Klebitz noted that the responsibility of the section of sidewalk where Kill Devil Hills meets Kitty Hawk needed to be determined while planning takes place. “I think it’s very important to determine whether Kitty Hawk’s involved, or how that connection needs to be made.” Clopton noted the board’s unanimous favor of concept 1 and shared that the proposed start time, if the project is accepted, would be 2025.