City crews improve access to Waterfront Park playground

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Earlier this week, Beaufort public works crews installed a flexible hardwood walkway at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park Playground to provide additional access to the popular play area.

Public Works crews install a wooden walkway to the playground at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.
Public Works crews install a wooden walkway to the playground at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

“Our Public Works team did a tremendous job on this,” City Manager Scott Dadson said. “Not only did they improve access to the playground for people with physical challenges, but they did it using materials and a design that blend in with the natural waterfront setting.”

The improvements come four months after the city completely re-did the playground’s surface to make it safer. The original rubberized playground surface was cracking and peeling apart, exposing the asphalt surface below. This created a trip and fall hazard for children at play and the adults watching them, said Isiah Smalls, Beaufort’s director of public works and facilities management.

In January and February, after cost estimates came in at almost $100,000 to replace the asphalt and rubberized surface, Smalls’ team dug up the asphalt and then spread biodegradable mulch to cushion falls.

The area is mulched once a year at a cost of about $2,500. The newly-installed wooden walkway has a life expectancy of 10 years and cost about $7,000 including materials and labor.

The playground is located along the Beaufort River downtown in waterfront park, near the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge. It features picnic tables and benches along with playground equipment and adjoins the Tricentennial Monuments park.