Ferry parking lot to be paved

Published 10:20 pm Monday, August 3, 2009

The extended parking area at Higgins Ferry Park is getting paved this week, Park Ranger Frank Atkinson announced.

Park visitors are already using the gravel lots located on both sides of County Road 28, but the lack of marked spaces has resulted in problems, such as motorists getting blocked in.

Atkinson said he hopes to add between 100 and 150 marked spaces to the area.

“We don’t utilize the whole space here for parking,” he said. “We have (fishing) tournaments here every Saturday and sometimes on Sunday. These number well over 100 boats.”

The paved parking lot near the boat launch accommodates just 30 vehicles hauling boat trailers. Even there, people have been parking illegally and blocking boaters in their spaces.

In the gravel lots, it’s common to see vehicles parked for a half mile down both sides of the road during tournaments. The area was placed on a state list more than three years ago.

The paving is scheduled to take place Tuesday. The asphalt surface will extend as far north as the intersection of County Roads 28 and 711. It will include lots for both boat trailers and single vehicles.

“This is being done at no cost to the county,” Atkinson said.

Alabama Power is having the area paved at the approximate cost of $48,000. The low bid went to Lake Mitchell Construction.

In a previous agreement, the county allowed the state to lease the gravel lots from Alabama Power.

A new lease was made allowing the addition of nine new camping sites on a piece of property off County Road 711.

Higgins Ferry Park now offers 29 camping sites.

While the new sites do not yet have sewage, all sites offer water and electricity.

“I’ve got all the others rented out and about four of these rented,” Atkinson said.

He also noted that the paving will not affect the old portion of County Road 28, which is still used by motorists including the 27 families who live past the park.