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Welcome sight for sore eyes -- county spruces up northern entrance

Zach Spaulding of Martin Landscape waters some of the juniper shrubs recently planted near the entrance to the Broad River fishing pier and boat landing. Spaulding said they planted 20 crepe myrtle trees, 25 live oaks, more than 20 palm trees and hundreds of shrubs and grasses in the median and shoulders of S.C. 170 near the Broad River bridge.
Zach Spaulding of Martin Landscape waters some of the juniper shrubs recently planted near the entrance to the Broad River fishing pier and boat landing. Spaulding said they planted 20 crepe myrtle trees, 25 live oaks, more than 20 palm trees and hundreds of shrubs and grasses in the median and shoulders of S.C. 170 near the Broad River bridge. BOB SOFALY | The Beaufort Gazette

Beaufort County officials want to give motorists crossing the Broad River Bridge into northern Beaufort County a sense of arrival.

Crews from Martin Landscape of Beaufort will wrap up a $140,000 project later this month designed to spruce up the Beaufort side of the span and the intersection of S.C. 170 and S.C. 802.

"We wanted to create the sense of a gateway into northern Beaufort County," said Suzanne Larson, county spokeswoman. "The Broad River Bridge is the major traffic artery into northern Beaufort County."

Since mid-June, crews have planted 39 crape myrtles, 24 palmettos, 31 live oaks and more than 4,300 shrubs, said Wade Martin, owner of Martin Landscape.

The project, part of the plan in 2001 to construct the bridge that spans the Broad River, was paid for from the Reforestation Trust Fund land developers pay into to help replant trees they cut down during construction projects, according to county records.

The county's engineering department received five bids for the project, and the Beaufort County Council awarded the contract in March to Martin Landscape.

Designed by J.K. Tiller and Associates of Bluffton, the project will include planting wildflowers, native grasses, shrubs and trees in the median between the north and southbound lanes of S.C. 170, along the sides of the highway and near the entrance of the Broad River Fishing Pier.

Martin said the company is proud to have its name on such an important project for the county.

"It's a great feeling to be working for a county that supports locally owned businesses," Martin said. "I take a lot of pride in what I do, and we take a lot of pride in that project."

Larson said the S.C. Department of Transportation helped contractors and the county complete the project quickly.

"This project has required lots of weekend work to avoid rush hour traffic, so we've had to work really closely with DOT to help us with lane closures while they planted those trees in the median," she said.

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