Construction continues on the new swim beach and associated amenities at the Wittenburg Access Area in Bethlehem; however, the beach will not open this year, according to Duke Energy officials.
Ellen Morton, spokesperson for Duke Energy, said the construction project is expected to conclude early this fall. A necessary redesign of utilities in the administration building and supply chain challenges resulted in construction delays. Morton said that once construction is complete, the new picnicking amenities will open and access to the existing fishing pier will resume. The swim beach will open to the public for the 2024 recreation season.
The project includes a swim beach, which will be accompanied by a building that includes restrooms, an office, and concessions. There will also be an outdoor shower. Two new picnic shelters will be available for reservations.
According to Alisha Stamey, Alexander County Parks Director, the swim beach will be open each year from Memorial Day to Labor Day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be a park attendant on duty with concessions available, including drinks, snacks, prewrapped sandwiches, and more. Stamey noted that there will be no lifeguards at the swim beach.
A new concrete pedestrian walkway will lead to the fishing pier; however, the pier remains closed until construction is complete to ensure safety within the work zone. Picnic tables on concrete pads will be available along the walkway.
In 2022, the one-mile Heron Point Nature Trail was completed and the boat ramp parking area was repaved and restriped with additional spaces added. The nature trail and boat ramps are already open to the public.