TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. - When Marty Estes, first-time visitor from Birmingham, AL, walked out onto her seventh-floor balcony at the beach something caught her eye.
"Of course I see the (Gulf of Mexico), it's fabulous. But, the first thing I notice was this walkway; and I'm a walker. I came here to walk the beach and to just walk every day," said Estes, who has been using the trail.
Back in 1966, the City of Treasure Island built a beach trail just under a mile long. Over the years, locals as well as tourists have come to rely on it both recreationally and therapeutically.
"My mother-in-law is 90, and she's always loved the beach. And so when we're here we will bring her out in her wheelchair and bring her down on the walkway; and she just enjoys it so much to be out and having this available to her," explained Teresa Wray.
And to make it even more enjoyable, the city is giving the trail a facelift. Along with widening it with decorative concrete, the wall will be replaced and capped with a flat surface to encourage a more leisurely feel.
To add to the look, the trail will lose its straight-line stark landscape, and be replaced with a more appealing curved flow.
"We did a vision survey of our residents in Treasure Island here a few years ago. And one of the questions that was posed to our residents was 'Would you like to see the beach trail enhanced?' And there was overwhelming support for it," recalled Treasure Island Mayor Bob Minning.
For the hotels, motels and other rental properties along the stretch, an enhanced trail is a great thing.
Bill Swinehart, who works at the Voyager, a condo-hotel on the beach, is excited.
"It'll be awesome. It would be like a facelift for sure. Either way, when you walk it's going to enhance the beauty of the whole beach just by coming off the beach coming back towards the properties of any resort," said Swinehart.
There's a meeting Tuesday, 6:00 pm at Treasure Island City Hall, 120 108th Ave. for residents to learn more about the project. Construction is expected to start in October.
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