Kure Beach has a new place to take a stroll. Inspectors gave the stamp of approval Monday to an extension of the boardwalk, north of the pier.
"I'm very proud of it," Kure Beach Mayor Mac Montgomery said. "I think the town has done a good job. It's been a long, long time coming."
The boardwalk sits about a foot off the ground and stretches a little more than 1,200 feet for two blocks along Atlantic Avenue.
"It makes the ocean more accessible now to the visitors and to the residents, and that's what Kure Beach is all about. It's a quaint little town, and now it's just a little bit friendlier," Kure Beach Town Councilman Jim Vatrt said.
Town leaders say it's now also a little bit safer.
"We've got a lot of strollers, we've got a lot of toddlers, we've got a lot of little kids with bicycles, and we needed to physically get them off the road," Councilman Dean Lambeth said.
Not all property owners supported the idea of a new boardwalk, as it was discussed the past few years.
"We were very happy with the way it was, and we feel that we didn't need the additional traffic flow from pedestrians down into this area," vacationer Diana Snell said.
Mayor Montgomery said he is happy the project put local people to work, while hopefully helping to attract locals and visitors alike to Kure Beach.
"We've gotten a great deal of public money, public's financial support on this from the county, Tourism Development Authority from the Division of Coastal Management that made this possible," he said.
Now that the boardwalk is officially open to the public, it's the town's newest beachfront addition. There will be a formal dedication ceremony in the near future in memory of former town Councilman Bill Ufferman, who had a key role in making the boardwalk a reality.