Beaufort News

Council: Town can take land for roundabout, if needed

Plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of Dunnagans Alley and Arrow Road on Hilton Head Island might require taking private property.

Hilton Head Island Town Council voted 6-0 Wednesday, with Councilman John Safay absent, to authorize town staff to pursue condemnation, if necessary, to acquire fractions of an acre at the western and eastern corners of the intersection.

Scott Liggett, director of public projects and facilities, said the town is negotiating with two property owners and hopes condemnation -- the taking of private property for public use -- will not be necessary.

"But for whatever reason, if negotiations are broken off or if they're not successful, we are authorized to go that route, but don't want to," Liggett said.

Placing the roundabout at the intersection requires acquiring four parcels owned by Kevin Raymond, Robert Graves and Graves Construction.

The Graves properties account for less than one-fifth of an acre. The Raymond property is about 530 square feet, Liggett said.

Town Council budgeted $880,000 in tax-increment financing revenue to build the traffic circle. Bids are being solicited by the town.

Town officials have not said what they are offering for the properties.

Construction is expected to begin in January and take as long as 120 days, Liggett said.

The roundabout is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and reduce wrecks at the intersection, according to town traffic and transportation engineer Darrin Shoemaker.