Ten years in the making

  • Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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A success story on the collaboration of several government bodies has come to fruition. After 10 years, the completion of sidewalks along Ben Sawyer Boulevard will begin.

L&L Contractors was awarded the bid for construction in the amount of $586,316.50. Charleston County Councilman Dickie Schweers worked closely with then and recently re-elected Mount Pleasant town Councilman Paul Gawrych. Schweers said the effort put toward this project truly ties two local municipalities together. “What a wonderful opportunity,” he said.

“Sullivan’s Island and Mount Pleasant have always been very friendly neighbors and Charleston County, with the half cent sales tax had an opportunity to help.”

Schweers said this was a no-brainer opportunity with an obvious solution.

The completed project will allow an opportunity for folks to travel safely to the beach by bike or foot.

Schweers said he envisions many people from Mount Pleasant utilizing the sidewalks and is confident Sullivan’s Island residents will welcome that and utilize the paths as well.

Gawrych said that path will vary from 5 to eight feet in width and sit four feet over from the roadway.

It will include a sweetgrass barrier between the road. Signage will be included, Gawrych said to indicate this is part of the Battery to the Beach initiative he has worked on for many years in conjunction with the Charleston Moves group, a bike advocacy group.

He said this construction plays a pivotal role in the Battery to the Beach initiative moving forward.

The project will be funded by several sources.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation will reimburse Charleston County up to 80 percent of eligible expenditures, not to exceed $708,000, using CHATS Transportation Enhancement Grant funds.

The enhancement funds were accumulated over multiple years; $108k in 2003 and $200k in 2010 by the Town of Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island jointly and $400k by the county in 2012, totaling $708k. The 20 percent local match will come from county Sales Tax Allocation project funds and a joint $50k match from the towns as part of the 2010 grant.

The project will run from Simmons Point Road on the Mount Pleasant side, across the existing bridge, ending at the existing sidewalk on Sullivan’s Island.

A notice to proceed will be issued in early January.

Work is expected to begin in mid to late February due to cold weather paving restrictions.

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