Whew! Boundary Street closer to completion

4 mins read

Photo above: Boundary Street traffic at Hogarth Street seems just as heavy at noon on a Wednesday as it does at rush hour on a Friday afternoon. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

By Amy Rigard

The headaches for drivers and businesses along Boundary Street may be coming to an end in March 2018 when the construction project is slated to be completed.

“The fact that we are on time and on budget for a small municipality with a project of this size shows the enormous effort on the part of all the stakeholders to realize the success of this project,” said Neal Pugliese, director of Public Projects & Facilities for the city of Beaufort.

As part of the project, all the utilities along Boundary Street have been moved underground. The entire storm drainage system along the corridor has been upgraded to combat the effects of any flooding. 

Boundary Street will continue to provide two lanes of traffic in each direction, and the lanes will be separated by a landscaped median to improve both the aesthetics and safety of the road. 

Connecting housing to employment and shopping centers along Boundary Street and creating a direct connection to the Spanish Moss Trail are also important components of this project. 

The nearly 2-mile project has included almost 3 miles of cabling, close to 3 miles of duct bank work, 6 miles of curbing and 21,000 tons of asphalt. 

“This has been a 100-percent team effort,” said Pugliese. “I think the success we’ve seen to date with this project can be attributed to the people who had the vision and to our political leadership who have done a fantastic job helping people understand the cost benefit and that the short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain for the city of Beaufort.” 

As the project winds down, Pugliese acknowledged that the last 20 percent of any project is often the most difficult because it requires more of the fine detail work, but he remains optimistic everything will remain on track. As the project nears completion, the city will refine its plans for marking the successful completion of the project.  

The vision for the Boundary Street Redevelopment District was born in 2006 when the city of Beaufort and Beaufort County collaborated on a comprehensive strategy to address the corridor’s physical state, redevelopment potential, and ability to accommodate vehicle traffic, bicycles and pedestrians. 

Another goal was to create a more inviting and attractive entrance to the city and the Beaufort National Historic Landmark District along Boundary Street. 

The $33 million multi-jurisdictional project, funded by a Federal Highway Administration TIGER grant, 1-cent Beaufort County sales tax and city of Beaufort TIF II, is currently ahead of schedule and under budget. Construction on the approximately 1.5-mile project began in January 2016.

According to the city of Beaufort’s website, “The city of Beaufort and Beaufort County seek to transform Boundary Street from a crowded, inefficient and unattractive strip commercial corridor into a complete, compact and connected mixed-use district that supports a more walkable, livable and attractive community.”

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