Q. What is going on with completing Highway 17 north of the Isle of Palms Connector? The widening went quickly, then everything seemed to stop. There seems to be little to no progress on the finishing touches such as lighting, landscaping, etc. The improvements to Highway 17 just north of the bridge started about the same time, and that section was finished many months ago. - Craig Munson, Mount Pleasant
A. “The landscaping portion of the US Highway 17 N widening has started. The contractor is installing the irrigation system at this time.
Once this system is in place and has been tested, the plantings will begin. It is anticipated that the plantings will start by the middle of August and last through the end of the year.
The lighting is being installed by SCE&G. The lights on the outside of roadway should be activated by the middle of August from the Isle Of Palms Connector to Darrell Creek Road. The lights in the medians will follow ASAP.
The contractor continues to work on “punch list” items on the roadway.” - J. E. (Ed) Barbee, CPPB, Transportation Construction Liaison, Town of Mount Pleasant
Q. Good morning: Just a question that hopefully you can answer. Who is responsible for turning off the stadium lights at Patriots Point College of Charleston baseball and soccer fields? Often they are on all night with a huge waste of electricity, sometimes when there was no game. If they are on a mechanical on/off system, who would we call to take care of turning them off? - Bill Meyer, Mount Pleasant
A. “We spoke to College of Charleston maintenance personnel. The coach who is using the specific athletic field is responsible for turning off the lights.
The College of Charleston Public Safety Department at 953-5611 or the College of Charleston Physical Plant at 953-5550 can be contacted to report that the lights are still on.” - Eric DeMoura, Mount Pleasant Town Administrator
Q. Do you know when Laurel Hill plantation will be opening? - Beth Murphy, Mount Pleasant
A. “Laurel Hill Park is open now. There are events there all the time from fitness events, to birding programs, to historic programs.
But the answer for when the park will be open for the public to come and go as they please is a complicated one.
The eventual goal is to have a beautiful public park, master planned with input from the citizens in the community, speaking to the needs and wants of the users. To get to this point, you need funding to build this type of park.
A typical James Island County Park, or Palmetto Islands County Park type of facility will take between five and 15 million dollars to design and build, depending on what the public wants to see in this park. This also will take time.
Between today and that eventual goal, the commission knows that it needs to open this facility to the public who paid for it.
Today the park is open for events. We operate the park for events only because there has been a fair amount of work that is needed to be done to make the property ‘safe’ for the public to use. We had to construct a new bridge over the water, there still is no water supply or parking and Laurel Hill has experienced more vandalism than any park in our park system. Work is being done on all of those elements on a continual basis.
We are close to being ready to take the next step as it relates to park usage. We think that the commission will approve funds to provide adequate funding for rest rooms, water and parking. Once this is in place, we will then be able to have the park open in the morning and closed at night for general public use using the existing trail system, meadows and picnic opportunities. Right now the park consists of a wonderful trail system that is used for exercise opportunities and heath and wellness events. A citizen will be able to come to the park and take a walk or run, have a picnic or utilize the large expansive meadow.
That is a very long answer to a simple question to when will we be open. We are going to try to have this accomplished in the late fall. Right around the time that the unwelcome ‘bugs’ take a break.” - Tom O’Rourke, Executive Director, Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission