Beaufort County and Hilton Head making progress on 278 bridge project

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 4:25 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - About a month ago, we reported on an increasingly tense situation between Beaufort County and the town of Hilton Head that put the future of the area’s biggest project ever in jeopardy.

Since then, the county and town have made progress.

”A final attempt is being made by the staff of the county and the town of Hilton Head,” Beaufort County Council Joseph Passiment said.

Discussions that have gone on for months, now reaching the home stretch a final attempt. At a council meeting Monday, we learned the town and county are coming together to try and finalize a cooperative agreement for Highway 278.

“We think that things are looking good. As in any negation, things go back and forth and I think that’s what you’ve seen play out over the summer,” Beaufort County PIO Christopher Ophardt said.

For the next step to be taken with this bridge project, the t’s just need to be crossed and the i’s dotted on a memorandum of understanding known as an MOU. Something the county believes would get things going.

”I think we’re approaching the line where we really hope that we’ll be able to get an MOU done and get this project going.”Vo

The timeline of action was one sticking point of the past, especially as the town wanted another study done on their part of the land. The county has now agreed to that study, with a caveat.

”As long as we don’t hold up the overall project. So we believe that the study information can be incorporated into the last part of the design.”

With that compromise made, the MOU has a few days to be finalized before facing a county vote. Pending passage there, Hilton Head tells us in a statement its council will take up this matter at its meeting on October 4th.

The county says that should be the day we finally have an answer to this saga meaning on Oct. 4, we’ll know if the county and town will collaborate on one of the biggest projects in Lowcountry history or not.

For now at least, those hopes are looking much better than they did over the last few months.