One thing is certain: As long as the weather cooperates, round-the-clock, road-closing construction will begin Tuesday morning on the three commercial blocks of Bay Street in downtown Beaufort.
The rest of the schedule remains unclear.
The S.C. Department of Transportation has hired a contractor to handle the federally funded paving in the city, but the schedule has changed several times since the work was announced at the beginning of August.
The city of Beaufort issued a news release Thursday stating that a portion of Bay Street between Newcastle and Carteret streets will be closed to vehicles starting early Tuesday. One lane of Bay Street between Newcastle and Hamar streets will be closed, and a flagman will direct traffic. Construction will be around the clock and is slated for Tuesday to Friday, but could be completed earlier, according to the release.
City manager Scott Dadson said that schedule reflects what city officials were told in a meeting Wednesday with the DOT.
However, DOT spokesman James Law offered a different schedule that was confirmed with engineers Thursday afternoon. DOT plans to close Bay Street between Charles and Carteret streets starting Tuesday morning, and construction will go around the clock for two days or fewer.
When that is completed, contractors will move to the section between Hamar and Charles streets, Law said. Bay Street will be closed one lane at a time in the area, and work will occur only during the day. That is expected to take about two days, as well.
"That work will only be done during the daytime because it is a residential area," Law said.
Mayor Billy Keyserling said he is angered by the confusion.
He said the city received little notice from the DOT about the original paving schedule and that the lack of communication since then has increased his frustration. Like Dadson, he said the city's news release was based upon the staff's understanding from the Wednesday meeting with DOT officials.
"It's led to mass confusion for the merchants, for the residents and for the city, which is going to try to do its damnedest to help with traffic, help with alternative parking and help with notifying people," he said.
Other planned closures for repaving include Lafayette Street from Sept. 9 to 13, North and Charles streets from Sept. 16 to 20, and Battery Creek and Waddell Road from Sept. 23 to 30, according to the city.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.
- Closures near businesses on Beaufort's Bay Street might get shorter, Aug. 25, 2013
- Bay Street paving, road closures set for Monday now postponed, Aug. 16, 2013
- VIDEO: Bay Street business owners discuss temporary closing of Bay street, Aug. 16, 2013
- Beaufort grapples with announcement of Bay Street closure, Aug. 14, 2013
- Bay Street to be closed for at least three days at the end of August, Aug. 13, 2013