December 2013

December 2013: Mayors

Author: Drew Laughlin, Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Your Town at Work
This fall, the Town of Hilton Head Island has been hard at work on several new capital projects. These projects will provide our residents and visitors with improved infrastructure, safer travel ways and a new emergency service facility. Here is an update on a few of our most recent projects:

New Pathway connecting Jarvis Creek Park and Honey Horn to Gum Tree Road
Pathway users now have safer access to Jarvis Creek Park and Honey Horn by using the new pedestrian pathway built this fall. The project also included a signalized crosswalk and traffic safety lane modifications on U.S. 278. The far right lane of east bound traffic must turn right at the intersection with the Cross Island Parkway, and motorists leaving the Cross Island Parkway have a free flowing right turn onto U.S. 278. Staff worked closely with the SCDOT to achieve these safety enhancements that will benefit motorists as well as pedestrians.

William Hilton Parkway Intersection Improvement at Leamington
The town has begun construction on a new roadway intersection improvement project at William Hilton Parkway (U.S. 278 Business) and the entrance to Leamington. Construction is scheduled to be completed by mid-March at a cost of roughly $730,400.00. Along with the 40,000 or so motorists who travel through this area daily on U.S. 278, residents of the Leamington Community and patrons of the Fresh Market Shoppes and Hargray offices will benefit directly as they will be able to make safer left turns to and from William Hilton Parkway at a signalized intersection. This project will improve traffic safety in the corridor, enhance emergency response to adjacent properties, and improve pedestrian safety and connectivity of the town’s ever-expanding pathway network with a new signalized crosswalk at the new intersection.

Replacement of Fire Station 6 (Palmetto Dunes)
Construction is underway on the replacement of Fire Station 6. This facility will be located just outside the main gates of Palmetto Dunes and is an 11,500-square-foot structure that will be used to house emergency responders who serve the mid-island and Palmetto Dunes areas. While this new station will be a continuation of the existing model used for the last several new stations, it will be the town’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) project. The grand opening is scheduled for July 2014.

Your town council is proud to be in a position to improve the quality of life for its residents. These are just three of the 38 public projects we have this year. Thank you for your continued support for our Capital Improvement Program, and I hope that you like some of the improvements the town has made this year. Best wishes for a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Family, Friends, and Fun at DuBois Park
With the completion of the DuBois Park Pavilion, the Town of Bluffton has provided yet another amenity to the Old Town area. Work on the playground earlier this year has provided our youngest residents and visitors a safe place to grow and play. The pavilion provides a place for moms and dads to set up picnic lunches and take the sleeping babes out of the sun while they watch big brothers and sisters run, jump and climb in an imaginative playground.

The pavilion now provides restrooms for these little people (and not so little) to use while they are on the playground or visiting Old Town. The changing tables located in both restrooms also offer an opportunity to take care of the babies’ needs safely. Picnic tables are available at the pavilion and playground to help out with those picnic lunches, and more picnic tables are being constructed and shipped to the park for everyone’s use.

My favorite thing about these new projects being built around town is seeing how people use them. Last Sunday, I dropped by DuBois Park and saw children climbing on the shrimp boat in the playground with others playing some kind of a ball game—surely one they invented—on the big grassy area. Underneath the shelter, I spied some parents relaxing in the shade between a pile of presents on one table and food on the other. Surely this was a birthday party in progress, and it looked like all were having a good time.

As Old Town continues to flourish with new shops and restaurants, DuBois Park provides a pleasant destination in which to enjoy tasty treats purchased at the farmers market, get out of the sun and rest a bit, serenely swing along the walkways and take the children, allowing them to spend some of the energy built up as they wait for Mom and Dad while shopping.

While DuBois Park can be a great rest stop or way station for people strolling through town, this place can also be a gathering spot in its own right. For example, the pavilion also provides a catering kitchen with a sink and window counter for special events. This feature makes possible food-centered events such as family reunions, scout troop fundraisers, or even a cooking contest! Of course, with its wide expanse of grassy lawn, combined with the comforts provided by the pavilion, DuBois Park could be the perfect venue for many other types of events such as birthday parties, alumni reunions, a string quartet, movie night, or open-air art. The possibilities for fun at this special park are endless, and we welcome your creative ideas on how to use it.

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