Public workshop on Castillo-bayfront project

Halback Design Group, Inc. project manager and principal Jeremy Marquis informed local Historic City News reporters that the City of St. Augustine will hold two meetings this week towards the goal of improved movement of people along Avenida Menendez and South Castillo Drive — in the area adjacent to Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

Halback Design Group is the lead consultant on the “Reconnecting the Castillo & the Bayfront” project, which is looking at South Castillo Drive and Avenida Menendez between the parking facility and the Bridge of Lions.

“Right now, SR-A1A severs the Fort from the City it was built to protect,” Marquis said. “The goal of the project is to develop a better corridor layout that improves connections between the Castillo de San Marcos, the bayfront, and downtown.”

On Thursday, November 18th at 6:00 p.m. and again on Friday, November 19th at 2:00 p.m., identical meetings focused on design issues influencing the concepts — including crosswalk locations, the Castillo de San Marcos parking lot, roadway cross-sections and Orange Street alternatives, among others, will be held in the 3rd Floor meeting room of City Hall, located at 75 King Street — elevator “D”. These are the project’s second and third public meetings and open houses.

“We hope that readers of Historic City News, as well as all residents of St. Augustine, will be able to join us,” Marquis said. “The Halback Design Group team and the City of St. Augustine look forward to your feedback.”

An approximately 30-minute presentation will occur at the beginning of each meeting, followed by an “open-house” where participants can speak with the design team and ask questions, make comments, and give suggestions. The meetings are expected to last about an hour each.

“One of the main issues will be improved strategies for moving people along and across this roadway through a variety of transportation options and modes; including vehicles, buses, trolley trams, horse carriages, bicycles, and pedestrians,” Marquis told Historic City News. “It is important to note that while we are looking at moving people in general, improving traditional traffic efficiency and movement will be an important component.”

According to Marquis, these meetings are designed to receive public input at the early stages of conceptual design.

“Based on input from the public, City staff, the National Park Service, FDOT, and other important stakeholders,” Marquis said, “the Halback Design Group team will continue to develop the concepts towards a preferred alternative in early 2011.”

Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News contributed photograph by City of St. Augustine

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