Beaufort public works crews installed a flexible hardwood walkway at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park playground this week to provide additional access to the popular play area.
"Our Public Works team did a tremendous job on this," City Manager Scott Dadson said. "Not only did they improve access to the playground for people with physical challenges, but they did it using materials and a design that blend in with the natural waterfront setting."
The improvements come four months after the city completely re-did the playground's surface to make it safer.
The original rubberized playground surface was cracking and peeling apart, exposing the asphalt surface below. This created a hazard for children at play and the adults watching them, said Isiah Smalls, Beaufort's director of public works and facilities management.
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In January and February, after cost estimates came in at almost $100,000 to replace the asphalt and rubberized surface, Smalls' team dug up the asphalt and then spread biodegradable mulch to cushion falls.
The area is mulched once a year at a cost of about $2,500. The newly-installed wooden walkway has a life expectancy of 10 years and cost about $7,000 including materials and labor.