Gator Alley in Daphne reopens after flood damage repair

DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) –  Like to look for alligators? Gator Alley Boardwalk in Daphne is one of the most popular places to see alligators in their natural habitat.

The tourist attraction was closed during the spring after flooding destroyed the walkways. It officially re-opened Wednesday morning, September 3 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

ATTRACTING ATTENTION

Daphne city officials said it was during the time the area was closed that they learned just how popular the free attraction it is.

Mayor Dane Haygood said, “A couple of times I was checking on the park, and we had people pulling up wanting to go walk the boardwalk and try to see the gators.”

PLANNING FOR EXPANSION

But, how much money did it cost to repair the boardwalk?

Daphne Public Works Director Richard Johnson said, “The re-engineering and the contract for the work itself was right at $150,000, and 87 and a half percent of it is being refunded to the city through FEMA and the state EMA.”

City officials also said they plan to keep adding to the boardwalk, which is part of the Eastern Shore Trail.

Johnson said, “Our goal eventually is to take this portion of the trail system and take it all the way up to Van Buren Street, cross back over (Highway) 98 and tie it into North Main Street so it’s a continuous loop around.”

VISITOR REACTION

What did some of the first visitors think about the repairs?

Ronny Anderson of Robertsdale said, “I think it’s really nice. My family and I come over here a lot.”

Michelle McKenzie of Daphne said, “It’s beautiful. They’ve done a great job.”

But, when asked if she had seen any alligators yet, Mckenzie said, “Not today, no, not today. They’ll be out. It’s just still too warm.”

Daphne officials said they’re also working on expanding the parking area for the boardwalk on North Main Street.

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