Bluffton Parkway connector work underway - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bluffton Parkway connector work begins

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Work began Tuesday to connect the Bluffton Parkway to US Highway 278. Work began Tuesday to connect the Bluffton Parkway to US Highway 278.
BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -

Work began Tuesday to connect the Bluffton Parkway to US Highway 278. 

The construction crew said they're doing all they can to help what some think is an unsightly situation.

Where the Bluffton Parkway ends now - construction crews are beginning the fifth phase to link it US Highway 278 - essentially bridging Bluffton to Hilton Head Island.

The project costs about $45 million - some of the money comes from state and federal aid. The rest is coming from the penny transportation tax that voters approved in 2006.

The changes haven't come without controversy. 

"I know a lot of the objections are around, 'Is this going to be really ugly?'" said Marry Briggs, president and CEO of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.

Briggs didn't grow up in Beaufort County, but she has grown with it and sees all the concrete as progress. 

"Process and change is always going to involve some inconvenience. I was working in Beaufort during the years that they were doing the initial paving to 278, and it was not really a lot of fun and the result was great," she said.   

For some, it's difficult to focus on the end result especially when construction crews are going to be just feet from homes - impacting noise levels and the environment and well, people's lives. 

Tobin Construction crews started their work Tuesday. One crew member said they do all they can to reduce their bio-footprint.

The little walls make a big difference when the soil is moved around on purpose and when nature plays in their project.

The crew does their best to keep erosion in check and the integrity of the land surrounding the road. 

Years ago, a similar situation happened.

"When they put the Cross Island Expressway in on the island, everyone was worried about that, but they did a lot of work to make that attractive and not unsightly," said Deryll Stevens of Tobin Construction. 

The bottom line - avoid the bottle-necking at the end of the Bluffton Parkway.

"You want to wait in traffic or you don't - we[‘re] just here to help the city," Stevens said.

Some folks say the project will change the look of their scenic island. Others say the new flyover will help everyone get to from the island faster.

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