It’s the little street that could.
Unassuming Allison Road connects Ribaut Road to Battery Creek Road, two key thoroughfares. It also offers Spanish Moss Trail access. Beaufort Memorial Hospital and the Technical College of the Lowcountry also keep the area busy.
But the city of Beaufort thinks work is needed to bring it all together.
A road redevelopment project will bring a multipurpose path connecting Ribaut Road to the rail trail. Drainage work will do away with unsightly ditches on the south side of the road that create headaches for residents.
And after months of haggling with state engineers over the width of lanes, the work is ready to move forward. Construction is scheduled to go to bid in December and the work to begin in January with a goal of October 2017 for the completed project.
“I would say this one of the best projects we have going just because it’s so needed,” city planning director Libby Anderson said.
The work is expected to cost about $750,000, a number that could fluctuate. The city received $400,000 in federal funds from the Transportation Alternative Program, applied for through the state. The remaining cost will be covered from the city’s capital projects funds.
Other nearby projects have also sought to better move pedestrians from Ribaut to Battery Creek.
Southside Boulevard received a mile-long sidewalk on the north side. Port Royal plans a sidewalk along Waddell Road.
Allison Road was in a holding pattern for about a year while a design exception underwent numerous reviews. The city wanted 10-foot lanes for the new street, as is the case with recent street projects on Bladen and Duke streets.
S.C. Department of Transportation preferred 12-foot lanes, Anderson said. The two sides settled on 11.
Anderson said the new path will be welcome. When city officials have visited the site, people have pushed strollers down the road, and there was someone traveling the street in a wheelchair.
Large ditches on the other side of the road are difficult for homeowners to mow, Anderson said. And during heavy rain, they fill up with water, Mayor Billy Keyserling said.
“The principal project is really the stormwater project,” Keyserling said. “That is long overdue.”