Kubic 'troubled' by Hilton Head's flyover vote

cconley@islandpacket.comFebruary 20, 2013 

County administrator Gary Kubic said this morning that he's "troubled" by the Town of Hilton Head Island's decision Tuesday to withdraw support for the estimated $45 million flyover project.

In a written statement, Kubic argues that an alternative plan offered recently by County Councilman Stu Rodman to eliminate the flyovers was "unproven" and could have "adverse environmental components affecting local waterways."

"I appreciate the input and process from Hilton Head Town Council members. I'm however troubled that representations made at the meeting appear not interested in growth which impacts infrastructure, airports and business development," Kubic said in a written statement.

"Opinions presented were given on an unproven plan that has adverse environmental components affecting local waterways," he continued. "Ultimately, County Council will have the final vote on whether the flyover is built. If the project is approved, we will be open to input from the Town of Hilton Head on the aesthetics of the flyover."

Hilton Head's town council voted 6-1 Tuesday to withdraw support for the current flyover proposal over concerns about aesthetics and design.

The current flyover design calls for a new roadway starting at Buckingham Plantation Drive that crosses the marsh between The Gatherings and Buckingham Landing. Two flyover bridges would connect with the eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. 278 to the Bluffton Parkway near the bridge to Hilton Head.

Rodman's alternate plan would retain the elevated crossing over the marsh but eliminate the flyover bridges altogether. That roadway would meet U.S. 278 with a T-intersection near where Fording Island Road Extension meets U.S. 278. A new traffic light would be installed at the new intersection.

Rodman says his plan would cost less and offer a less intrusive appearance.

It's not clear what if any impact the town council vote will have on the project. County Council is expected to discuss the flyover project Friday afternoon at the Public Facilities Committee.

A final vote to award the $36.7 million construction contract to build the flyover is expected at Monday's regular council meeting.

Follow reporter Casey Conley at twitter.com/IPBG_Casey.

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