The Town of Hilton Head Island has been trying to redevelop the Coligny area since the 1990s, and it was finally set to start this fall.
But a lack of bid interest along with Hurricane Matthew has delayed the project yet again.
A start date of October for the project has been pushed back to at least the spring of 2017, town staff told the Town Council during its annual workshop Thursday.
Staffers said it is possible the project, which was set to be completed in December 2017, won’t be finished until August 2019 at the earliest.
Redevelopment of the town’s primary tourist destination includes construction of a public park, playground and new building for The Sandbox children’s museum. It also would include street improvements for Pope Avenue, Lagoon Road, Nassau Street and South Forest Beach Drive.
Town Manager Steve Riley said the project was originally delayed because a bid process that ended before the hurricane received no interest.
“We received no bidders, and the feedback was that it was too aggressive,” he said. “We were already on our way to repackaging this when the storm came along.”
The estimated $15.6 million project was set to be completed in 14 months.
After not receiving bids, town staff decided to break the project into three parts and rebid, said Scott Liggett, town director of public projects and facilities. He said the town didn’t have a chance to move forward with the process after the storm hit.
The town could start work on South Forest Beach and Tanglewood Drive next spring. It would then complete work on Nassau Street, Pope Avenue and Lagoon Road during the fall of 2017, with all park work starting in June 2018.
Council member Kim Likins questioned if the town could start on the project as soon as spring because of Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.
“I guess it is not even clear if this is feasible?” Likins said. “You are saying you are focused on the storm. I would have some concerns with this date.”
Liggett agreed that it might not be possible to start the project in the spring. But he said town staffers are eager to start getting back to normal as soon as possible.
“Staff wants to get back to their regular jobs, more so than you may fully understand,” Liggett said. “All of us are looking forward to, ‘Hey, this is what I was hired for.’”