County to begin road-paving program later this year

January 18, 2009 

As part of a four-year plan to pave dirt roads, Beaufort County has set aside money to pave Ballfield, Kitty and Phoenix roads in Bluffton.

Last week, the County Council's Public Services Committee recommended approving a contract to begin paving Phoenix Road, which is one-tenth of a mile, county engineer Bob Klink said.

That work will begin this year. Klink said he did not know the dollar amount of that contract.

While money is available to pave all three, work on Ballfield and Kitty roads will be delayed, Klink said.

Designs for paving Ballfield Road, near the intersection of Buck Island Road and Bluffton Parkway, have been completed, Klink said. However, Bluffton planning officials recommended delaying paving because a commercial development, Buck Island Square, might be built nearby. If the road is paved now, it might need to be torn up later if the project is built.

The development, which has generated heated opposition among some residents of the surrounding Buck Island and Simmonsville roads neighborhood, still is in the permitting process and is scheduled to go before the town's Development Agreement Negotiating Committee Wednesday.

Bill Peratta, a Bluffton planner, is the county's contact in the town for the paving project.

Asked if the town's request that the paving be delayed indicates that Buck Island Square will likelybe approved, Peratta responded in an e-mail: "In light of the Buck Island sewer project and some adjacent proposed development, the town is coordinating with Beaufort County regarding the paving of Ballfield Road and the timing of the work."

Preparations to pave Kitty Road have stalled because a number of residents-- Klink said he didn't know how many -- would not grant the county right-of-way.

Klink said no money is available to acquire the land through eminent domain, so paving probably will be delayed until all Kitty Road residents grant easements. In an effort to obtain those easements, the county will meet with residents in coming months to explain the project.

All three roads are located in Bluffton's Buck Island and Simmonsville roads neighborhood. A total of 56 dirt roads throughout the county are being paved as part of a county program.

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