Groundbreaking held for Boundary St. project in Beaufort - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Groundbreaking held for Boundary St. project in Beaufort

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

The City of Beaufort officially breaks ground for their multi-million dollar capital improvement project on one of the city's major streets.

Earlier this year, the orange cones went up along a 1.2 mile stretch of Boundary Street signifying the heavy duty work that is just about to begin.

Well, with any capital improvement project there's always the good, the bad, and the ugly. For the Boundary Street Project, the ugly would have to be some traffic delays and a closed median, but Beaufort officials believe with this project, the good will definitely outweigh the bad.

Friday, they met in the parking lot of the Beaufort Plaza to break ground on the project. Over the next few weeks, you'll start to see some of that heavy machinery that will be used as crews begin to dig up the shoulders of the streets to make way for those improvements.

Now, the city doesn't expect to have to close any lanes for the project, but as the project progresses traffic and wait times will be analyzed, so that could change.

But, the city says some of the recent congestion has altered their schedule slightly.

"One of the things that has moved up on our schedule to an accelerated position is try to establish a new intersection at 170 and returning it to two left turn lanes. That is one of things we are pushing diligently on now. We’re considering some different work schedules overnight schedules,” said Senior Project Manager David Coleman.

City officials have several goals for the project. For starters, they hope revamping Boundary Street will help create more complete roads that are both pedestrian and biker-friendly. By doing so, they hope it helps enhance connectivity in the area, making housing more accessible to employment, and vice versa. But most importantly, they hope it helps with environmental issues, like storm water. 

"Battery Creek right over here is the only part of the waters in the city that has had a struggle, where we're having to do remediation from pollution and water off roads travels, it doesn't all filter before it gets to the river, so an upgraded water run-off system is going to make us more environmentally sustainable," said Mayor Billy Keyserling, Beaufort. 

The mayor added that in addition to safety and environmental improvements, the city hopes Boundary Street will also improve the economy by making the entrance to the city more appealing for visitors who usually only go to Bay Street. 

The city is pushing for a quick and painless end to this project. They say the goal is simply to make commutes safer for drivers.

The city is also hoping to shorten the time frame a little by eliminating the proposal for a traffic circle at Ribaut Road.

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