From The Blog

Roundabout Construction to Begin

On December 6, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) began clearing the grassy area next to Freshfields for construction of the Kiawah/Seabrook Roundabout. KRA, the Kiawah developer, donated the land for the Roundabout and the Town of Kiawah applied for and received a Federal Grant of $2,050,000 for construction. The Town added $150,000 for a total budget of $2,200,000. SCDOT did the design work and then put the project out for bid. Banks Construction won the bid and will build the Roundabout, which is expected to be completed by Memorial Day 2005.

Construction of the Roundabout should not cause significant traffic disruption. However, as part of the project, SCDOT is going to replace the Haulover Creek Culvert. During the construction on the culvert, there will only be one lane open in each direction on that portion of Betsy Kerrison Parkway for all Kiawah and Seabrook traffic. The Haulover Creek construction is expected to begin in mid-January and unless there are unexpected issues, it will be completed in approximately 2 months.

A second period of traffic congestion is likely to occur when work is done on the Kiawah Island Parkway to tie it in to the Roundabout. However, this disruption should be for a relatively short period of time. The Town’s Public Works Committee, currently chaired by Steve Orban, will monitor the construction during bi-weekly meetings between the Town and SCDOT.

After completion, SCDOT will turn over ownership of the Roundabout to the Town of Kiawah, which will be responsible for landscaping and maintenance. The Town was eager to take control of the landscaping, since SCDOT does not typically do Kiawah-style landscaping on its projects.

Some future construction in the Freshfields area may be observed should the Town begin construction of the bicycle path from the Main Gate to Freshfields. However, that project is at least 1 year away. The Town has hired a consulting firm, LPA Associates, to design the bike path and apply for the permits required for construction. Since the bike path will cross wetland areas, the permitting process is expected to take six months to a year before construction can even begin. By that time, we will all have been enjoying our beautiful Roundabout for quite a while and any associated traffic disruptions should be just distant and practically forgotten memories.