Construction starts on traffic signals at Beaufort’s Charles Street intersections

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Crews began work Monday, Feb. 3 on a new traffic signal mast at Bay and Charles streets in downtown Beaufort, with two other new traffic signal arms still to come. The work may cause brief traffic delays, city leaders said.

Because of the extensive nature of work at the Bay and Charles streets site, work will continue there for the next several weeks. During that time, some preliminary work may also start at Charles and Craven and Charles and Boundary streets, said Isiah Smalls, director of public works and facilities management for the City of Beaufort.

The cost of the project is more than $300,000 but with cost-sharing between SCDOT, Beaufort County traffic engineering and the city of Beaufort, the city’s share is $55,009.

The new traffic signal masts are designed to be sturdier, more attractive and less prone to wind damage than the older, cable-hung signals, Smalls said.

Beaufort City Manager Scott Dadson said the upgrades are part of the Civic Master Plan and City Council’s intentions to encourage pedestrian, bike and vehicle traffic through key roads such as Charles and Bladen streets, in addition to Carteret and Bay.

“We’ve done a lot of road work in the downtown area in the past eight months, including some pretty big resurfacing and paving jobs,” Dadson said. “Installing these new traffic masts may lead to some occasional traffic slowdowns or minor detours, but we’ll do everything we can to minimize the impact.”

The project is under contract with Walker Brothers. The South Carolina Department of Transportation, Beaufort County Traffic Engineering and Beaufort Public Works Department are managing and monitoring the installation.