Town plans improve access to Honey Horn

tbarton@islandpacket.comDecember 19, 2011 

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Getting in and out of Honey Horn -- whether by bike, in a car or on foot -- should get easier if a plan approved earlier this month by the Town of Hilton Head Island's Planning Commission is adopted.

The $95,000 project connects Honey Horn to the town's existing pathway network; provides a second, primary entrance off William Hilton Parkway; and improves traffic flow and safety at on- and off- ramps to the Sol Blatt Jr. Cross Island Parkway, town traffic engineer Darrin Shoemaker said.

"These improvements will allow motorists to turn right from the Cross Island Parkway offramp onto eastbound William Hilton Parkway in a free-flowing manner without having to yield to other traffic at all times," Shoemaker said.

The project is expected to ease traffic congestion and parking woes during large events hosted at the 68-acre site, particularly Hilton Head's annual car show.

For now, organizers say they have enough parking at Honey Horn and the island's public school campus, but space continues to be a worry as the event grows. The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d'Elegance drew 11,700 people to Honey Horn this fall, compared to 10,500 in 2010.

"We support any improvements that can be made for ease of access to the venue and reduce traffic congestion by encouraging more folks to bring their bikes ... all of which works to encourage more people to come to the event," Concours president Carolyn Vanagel said.

Michael Marks, president and CEO of the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, spoke in favor of the project at a Dec. 7 meeting of the Planning Commission, according to meeting minutes. Attempts Monday to reach Marks for comment were unsuccessful.

Shoemaker said the town hopes to begin construction late-spring or summer and finish before the 2012 Concours d'Elegance at Honey Horn.

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