Settlement clears way for Hilton Head roundabout

The Town of Hilton Head Island has settled a dispute over land condemnation for a planned roundabout and path at Arrow Road and Dunnagans Alley.

The Town Council agreed to pay $100,000 to Rowe Highsmith LLC and to set aside permanent parking for nearby businesses.

The town bought the Rock's/Remy's Tract from Rowe Highsmith, as well as the Dunnagans Alley Theatre. The properties occupy two of the intersection's four corners. The other two corners are occupied by Espy Lumber and a consignment shop.

Town manager Steve Riley said initial plans required relocating part of Espy Lumber. When those negotiations fell apart, plans shifted the roundabout from the lumber company property to town-owned land where Rowe Highsmith had easements and parking rights.

Part of the Rock's/Remy's Tract will be set aside for permanent parking for Rowe Highsmith, which owns two adjacent buildings. One of the buildings is being renovated for a restaurant, and the other houses offices. Other nearby businesses also would be allowed parking rights, Riley said.

The traffic circle is expected to improve one of Hilton Head's more dangerous intersections. It is part of a plan to revitalize the area with pedestrian-friendly shopping geared toward tourists.

Construction of the roundabout at Dunnagans Alley is expected to begin by early September, said town public projects director Scott Liggett. Town Council has budgeted $880,000 for the project.