Construction crews will start pushing dirt the week of Jan. 4 for the long-awaited, $32 million Boundary Street Redevelopment project. “A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes for over a year, but now the work moves to the front of the stage,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said. “It’s good to get construction started.”
The Boundary Street Redevelopment project includes approximately 1.2 miles of improvements on US 21/Boundary Street and a half mile along First Street. The project runs from Neil Road eastward to Greenlawn Drive and is planned to be completed in 2018.
When completed, US 21/Boundary Street will consist of two 11-foot travel lanes in each direction separated by a 17-foot raised landscaped median with a sidewalk on the north shoulder and 10-foot multi-use path on the south shoulder. The intersection of SC 170/ US 21 will be relocated and realigned as well as signal improvements at the other signalized intersections within the corridor.
First Street improvements will include two 11-foot travel lanes and eight-foot on-street parking on both sides of the road beginning at the newly aligned SC 170 intersection to Hogarth Road.
Starting January 4, initial work will include the demolition of a few structures, the moving of signs and other structures beyond the new right-of-way limits, installation of erosion control devices, storm drain installation, and related work by local utilities.
After the initial activities have begun, the contractor will begin building the “duct bank” — a concrete-encased trench with multiple conduits for the utilities to place their lines underground. Overhead lines will remain standing and in service throughout the project until the duct bank is complete and new lines are placed within the duct bank.
Not only will the buried utilities create a more visually pleasing entrance to historic Beaufort, but they’ll be less likely damaged by storm winds or by vehicles hitting them.
As construction work increases, drivers may experience slowdowns and lane shifts, but all work requiring lane closures will be performed at night or during specific daytime hours on the weekend as specified by SCDOT.
The existing four lanes of traffic will be maintained throughout the life of the project other than the temporary nighttime lane closures. In the event of an emergency, lanes will be temporarily reconfigured to provide three or even all four of the lanes for evacuation.
“When this project is complete, we will have a much more scenic entrance to our National Historic Landmark District, and it will be a safer entrance,” Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said. “With better traffic signals, left turn lanes and improved intersections, people will find it easier and safer to visit our Boundary Street businesses.”
Starting January 8th, David Coleman, senior project manager for the City of Beaufort, will host weekly update sessions every Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the first floor of City Hall at 1911 Boundary Street. The public is encouraged to drop in, ask questions and stay informed.
The total cost of the Boundary Street Redevelopment project budget which is more than $32 million, is funded through three sources:
- A Federal Highway Administration TIGER grant of approximately $12.6 million
- The Beaufort County one cent sales tax of about $11.4 million
- And the City of Beaufort’s TIF II estimated contribution of about $8.2 million.
The anticipated economic benefits to business owners along the improved section of Boundary Street include safer access to their businesses; smoother traffic flow at key intersections; a more attractive and landscaped roadway which improves the likelihood of shoppers choosing to visit the Boundary Street shops and restaurants; and removal of overhead utility lines that will make it safer for drivers to enter and exit businesses.