The Boundary Street revitalization project has been delayed -- again.
The $26.8 million project will now be rebid in October, meaning construction will likely not begin until early 2015, city officials said Tuesday night at a Beaufort City Council meeting.
Initial bids submitted this spring expired June 21.
Beaufort County, which will help manage the work, sought bids for the project, county engineer Rob McFee said previously.
A contract wasn't awarded because the city was negotiating with utility companies over the cost of burying their lines along Boundary, McFee said.
Before the next round of bids, the county and city have agreed to hire outside engineers to review the plan and identify potential problems with the utility work, according to a Tuesday release from the city.
The project is intended to narrow lanes, landscape medians, and add sidewalks and bike paths along Boundary. City Council approved plans in 2006 that are being paid for with a $12.6 million federal grant and $13.7 million in local funds.
City Council also discussed two related topics during a work session Tuesday.
The first involved making changes to the Boundary Street Redevelopment District to ease building restrictions. Developer Dick Stewart, principal of 303 Associates, previously brought up concerns that some rules make development difficult to plan and cost prohibitive.
Among the potential changes are making rules about buildings fronting roads compatible with S.C. Department of Transportation requirements.
"We can't tell someone to do something they can't do," Mayor Billy Keyserling said. "That's wasting time and making SCDOT angry."
The second topic involved staff recommendations to change some "shalls" to "shoulds" to make the code more flexible, and to make the Design Review Board the group to hear appeals.
City staff and public relations consultant John Williams are also working on plans to publicize construction work and updates through TV, radio, newspapers and social media. Williams said his plan would cost about $12,000 a year.
A webpage is being developed that will have updated project plans, space for regular construction updates and other information, he said.
Keyserling strongly encouraged Williams to meet personally with property and business owners along the corridor to talk about the plans.
"That is going to mean more than anything else," he said
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.