Dear City Council Members:

I had hoped to attend tonight’s City Council meeting on the evening of May, 9th in person but unfortunately I am not able. Please include my email to the record.

The Ocean Park Civic League requests the proposed 2024 budget include full funding for the Phase 4 Shore Drive Improvements Capital Improvement Project (CIP). This project has been delayed for nearly 20 years, and it is vital for resolving long-standing documented safety issues on one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the city. 

Timeline of Phase 4 Shore Drive Improvement Delays

  • 2007-2008 Project first appears in Capital Improvement Plan as CIP 2-118. January 9, 2007 the City Council established the project with appropriation of FY 2005-2006 fund balance from the General Fund.
  • 2008 December Phase II, III, IV plans advance to 30%.
  • 2010 July Shore Drive Phase IV funding transferred to Phase III.
  • 2018 In FY2020 CIP funds were appropriated to initiate design activities. Construction to start September 2023.
  • 2020 CIP funds were appropriated to this project to initiate project design activities. The Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded this project $500,000 in Revenue Sharing in FY 2024-25. “As an existing Revenue Sharing Project, Shore Drive IV will receive priority in the next round of Revenue Sharing Awards. Therefore, Commonwealth funds were increased in the project and local funds in the outer years of the CIP were redirected and reprogrammed to Centerville Turnpike Phase II.”
  • 2021 March “Phase IV going to construction in summer of 2025 with a 3 year duration.” Letter from William Purcell, Dept of Public Works.
  • 2022 July : “The Preliminary Engineering Report and 30% Plans for Shore Dr Ph4 are scheduled to be completed Aug 2023.” Letter from William Purcell, Dept of Public Works.
  • 2023 Proposed FY 2024 Budget: Phase IV CIP project is defunded and funds transferred to Phase III. again.

The Phase 4 Shore Drive Improvements CIP would widen Shore Drive from Marlin Bay Drive to Lesner Bridge, add a multi-use path and sidewalk, improve drainage and landscaping, and install new traffic signals and streetlights. This project would significantly enhance the safety, mobility, and quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors in the Shore Drive area.

The reason this project is not closer to shovel-ready is a lack of political will. The city has repeatedly postponed or reduced funding for this project, despite its high priority ranking by the Public Works Department and strong public support. The project was originally introduced in 2007 and has now laid barren through 4 five year CIP budgeting cycles.  

This is unacceptable and unfair to the Shore Drive community, which has been waiting patiently for decades for this project to be completed. The city should honor the commitment made by the late Councilman Louis Jones, who represented the Bayside District for 32 years and championed this project until his passing in 2021. Councilman Jones understood the importance of this project for the safety and well-being of his constituents and the city as a whole.

I would like to address several of the reason’s city staff has indicated for defunding the project:

  • One stated reason for Phase IV defunding: lack of immediacy of the project: Since 2005, despite the establishment of the Bayfront Advisory Commission and over 18 years of stated support for the Phase 4 CIP (as voted by past councils), this project has languished due to a failure to fully support this documented priority. There are no other project with a longer tenure for uncompleted CIP projects while many, many others around the city have been added and completed.
  • Another stated reason for Phase IV defunding: lack of state or federal matching funds: again, this falls squarely on the city who did not seek, request nor obtain said matching funds.
  • Ultimately, the decision to defund this CIP comes down to budget constraints. Our specific Shore Drive community has accounted for hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue to the city coffers since the inception of this project. Additionally, we have voted to approve the  Flood Prevention Bond Referendum. 

For all of these reasons, I respectfully ask you to restore and allocate sufficient funding for the Phase 4 Shore Drive Improvements CIP in 2024. This project is long overdue and deserves your full support.

Thank you for your attention and service.


Daniel Murphy

President, Ocean Park Civic League

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