Caroline Street is getting a long overdue makeover. It's complicated for the businesses in the corridor but this street really does need to be improved because the surface is horrible.
Caroline Street is one block set back from the Key West Bight and it's here you have to pass if you want easy access to the Schooner Western Union and the docks, the Cuban Coffee Queen, Half Shell Turtle Kraals or the new Waterfront Brewery. In it's way it is an important artery and its been worn down to a series of potholes, jagged kerbs and rotten asphalt. You can be bounced out of a scooter seat on some of these holes if you don't notice them in time.
The street is also subject to frequent flooding so the storm drains will get a clean up I'm sure. They re-worked them about a decade ago but this looks to be a more comprehensive redo for the entire street. Below we see the old West Marine store now gradually becoming a 24-hr gym.
The new West Marine will also get a fresh coat of asphalt on the street and even though the uneven surface is hard to photograph it is astonishingly bad:
The construction plans are also more sweeping than just a re-surface and better drains, its going to be a beautification project as well.
The idea ultimately will be to have Caroline Street street properly landscaped with nice sidewalks and cut outs and everything a good looking street should have, they say. Something like this maybe, which I photographed on William Street alongside the old West Marine:
This is a sample of the future design, a proper turnout built to accommodate the Marker Hotel newly built at the end of William Street, which you can see off to the left. What you can also see is that traffic including bicycles is supposed to keep right...good luck with that.
The connector street past Cuban Coffee Queen and the Brewery will also need repaving as you can see:
It's another of those projects that are making everyone crazy, street closures, difficult access for businesses and general disruption but one can only hope that the finished product will look good, work well and not bounce me out of the saddle anymore. Oh and no more high tide flooding please. I think this could be pretty good.
And check out the amount of equipment they've assembled to tackle this job!