Beaufort County is about to tackle a dozen capital projects, totaling more than $3.6 million.
The most expensive will be replacing the Perryclear Bridge in Grays Hill, renovations to the county's Myrtle Park offices in Bluffton, and lighting improvements at the baseball fields at Burton Wells Regional and Wesley Felix parks in northern Beaufort County.
County Council's Public Facilities Committee unanimously approved contracts for all of the projects this week. The full council is poised to give them final approval Dec. 8, deputy county administrator Josh Gruber said Friday.
It will cost about $1 million to replace the Perryclear Bridge, which spans a small creek just north of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and connects Perryclear Drive to about 34 homes on McCalleys Creek there.
Originally built in 1965, the 140-foot bridge's timber pilings have been repaired or replaced twice before, according to a county report. However, after an inspection last year, the S.C. Department of Transportation reduced its weight limit to 10 tons -- not enough to support a modern fire truck, which is why the report recommended replacement.
The project's cost was included in a $17 million borrowing plan for capital improvements approved by the council earlier this year. That plan also includes a dozen new air conditioners, and repairs for leaky roofs on eight county buildings.
The county expects to begin permitting the bridge replacement just after the New Year and complete construction by next December, said David Coleman, county capital-improvement projects manager.
Also approved by the committee:
- $777,000 to renovate the county's Myrtle Park offices on Bluffton Parkway to create a "one-stop shop" for the county's Treasurer, Auditor and Business License offices in Bluffton. The improvements will be paid for with money borrowed in 2005 and 2013.
- $412,500 to repair the Daufuskie Island Pier, from the county's accommodations-tax fund.
- $464,000 to install new lights at the baseball fields at Burton Wells Regional and Wesley Felix parks, taken from the county's $17 million borrowing plan and Parks and Leisure Services' impact fees.
- $113,000 to build a new playground at Wesley Felix Park on St. Helena Island, paid for with Parks and Leisure Services' impact fees.
- $1.3 million total to pave six dirt roads in Sheldon, Burton, Beaufort and on St. Helena and Lady's islands. The projects will be paid for with Beaufort County Transportation Commission funds, which are distributed by the state, and the vehicle registration fee charged by the county.