Update from Charleston City Councilman Gary White
As we enter the New Year, I wanted to provide an update on the tremendous amount of work being done by the City of Charleston to continue enhancing our quality of life here on Daniel Island.
First, I wanted to provide an update on parks and recreation on Daniel Island. The Daniel Island Community and Recreation Center being built at Governors Park is currently progressing through the design and permitting process. The building design is currently being reviewed by the Daniel Island Architectural Review Board and the City of Charleston Design Review Board. We currently are projecting to have the permitting and review board approvals completed by March 4. In early March, the city will put the final construction drawings out for bid and hold a primary construction bid opening on March 28. The Primary Construction Contract will be sent to City Council for approval in April and major construction is projected to commence in May. The construction of the building is anticipated to take 18 to 20 months to complete barring any hurricanes or major weather events.
Neighborhood Park #4, which is located on Island Park Drive on the north side of the island, is currently under construction. The pathways are 50 percent complete and the playground equipment and gazebo installation will be complete by next week. The installation of the outdoor exercise equipment began this week. Barring any weather delays, we anticipate substantial completion of the park in early March and to be ready for opening and dedication of the park the first week of April. During construction, we will also be working with the city’s recreation committee and Charleston City Council to officially name the park.
Second, I wanted to provide an update on the Beresford Creek Bridge. As many are aware, the bridge had to be closed on January 18 due to a damaged beam. As of now, the bridge has been temporarily repaired by fitting a steel plate to the deck to protect from any inadvertent trucks that were to ignore the posted signage. The City of Charleston Public Service Engineering Division met on Wednesday, January 30, with the engineering firm, JMT, who performed the bridge inspection, and the City of Charleston Traffic and Transportation Department. The purpose of this meeting was to determine a variety of possibilities to repair or replace the damaged bridge. The scenarios ranged from replacing the damaged beam, replacing the entire superstructure, to a complete bridge replacement. All of the options discussed were looked at from a cost and time frame standpoint. Initial cost estimates are in the range of $250,000 for the immediate smaller repairs with a down time of two to three days, all the way to $800,000 to $1 million for a full bridge replacement with a down time lasting two to three months. Life cycles were also discussed as far as how long the temporary repairs would last until more repairs were going to be required. All of these recommendations are part of a report to be provided by JMT delivered to the city in the coming weeks with a more defined scope, cost, and time frame. Additionally, the city’s capital projects department will be working closely with the engineering department determining if the pending bridge improvements/replacement can be made to incorporate better pedestrian and bicycle access. Doing so would facilitate making a full connection of the multi-use path from St. Thomas Island Drive to Daniel Island Drive that is currently under design.
Lastly, from a traffic and safety standpoint, I wanted to provide an update on the intersection at Fairchild Street and Island Park Drive by the Refuel. As many have noticed, the city did install crosswalks and flashers to help bikers and pedestrians cross through this intersection safely. This was done as a temporary measure while we work on providing full signalization at that intersection. I am happy to report that the signal designs for the intersection are now complete. The mast-arms for the signal were ordered last fall, however, given the fact that there is only one contractor in the state that builds these, we are currently waiting for the order to be completed. As soon as the city hears back from the contractor that the mast-arms are ready to be delivered, we will quickly mobilize to have the mast-arms and signals installed.
I am very pleased with the progress that has been made on all the above mentioned improvements to the island. And in that, I want to sincerely thank all the hard working employees of the City of Charleston who work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for our citizens.
As I always strive to be as responsive as possible to all our citizens, should you ever need my help with any matter please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary White, a Daniel Island resident, represents District 1 on Charleston City Council. He has served in the position since 2008.