Lowcountry residents unhappy with proposed Bluffton Pkwy project - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Voters unhappy with proposed Bluffton Pkwy project

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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -

The debate continued Thursday over what some are calling the road to nowhere. 

In the Lowcountry, residents spoke out against the proposed Bluffton Parkway project, which includes expanding the parkway at Buckwalter Parkway and building two flyover bridges to connect 278 with the Bluffton Parkway. 

In 2006, voters approved the project when they voted for the penny transportation tax. They say if they knew what the project was, it wouldn't have passed. 

"This road will accomplish literally nothing. It's a waste of the taxpayers' money. No one will benefit from this," said Paul Carmichael. 

The county disagrees. 

"The Bluffton Parkway project was a system designed for public safety in two categories, hurricane evacuations starting from Hilton Head Island and eventually running all the way through to I-95," said Gary Kubic, Beaufort County administrator. 

Kubic said the second reason is to get traffic off of 278 and provide a safer, quicker way on and off the island. 

Expanding Buckwalter Parkway at Bluffton Parkway will cost $22 million and the flyover bridges will cost about $45 million. 

The transportation tax, federal and state aid will pay for the project. 

"I have concerns that there's going to be a continued propensity to solicit and get federal grant money for shovel ready projects like this that don't need to be done," said Dewayne Penberthy. 

County council will vote Monday on the flyovers, and the final decision on expanding Buckwalter Parkway will be made sometime this spring. 

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