Jekyll parking gets the squeeze

The Brunswick News

March 22, 2011

By ERIKA CAPEK

Finding a parking space on Jekyll Island this spring and summer may take more time than usual.

It might even be a bit of a challenge during weekends at peak times.

Beach-goers can blame the parking situation on construction. About 1,200 parking spots have been lost because of construction projects on the state-owned island.

Taking up many of those spaces at the beach-front is the construction of a 128,000-square-foot oceanfront convention center on Beachview Drive. It is expected to be completed by mid-2012.

There are other places to park, Jekyll Island Authority officials say. There are more than 400 spaces in the lot adjacent to the Jekyll Island Bookstore and the temporary convention center in the historic district, said Erica England, communications specialist with the authority.

There also are 200 spaces at Great Dunes Park, just north of the front beach convention construction zone.

England said parking will not interfere with the holding of two of Jekyll's largest festivals - the annual Beach Music Festival in August and the Shrimp and Grits festival in the fall.

"Beach Music Festival goers will be directed to park at Great Dunes Park and event parking in the Historic District," England said.

There will be shuttles available to transport residents and guests.

People who attend the annual Shrimp and Grits Festival will park in the historic district or at the Jekyll Island Airport.

"Parking for these events, although busy, are still logistically possible because activity is spread out through an entire weekend," England said.

The announcement about the Beach Music and Shrimp and Grits festivals follows the decision by the authority to cancel Jekyll's traditional July 4th fireworks show this year because of construction and public safety concerns.