Thursday, October 24, 2013
Pawleys Island, SC — Construction of a section of the Bike the Neck bike path along Kings River and Waverly roads in Pawleys Island has begun after almost five years of waiting.
Palmetto Construction is in charge of the project, under management of the S.C. Department of Transportation.
Funding for the bike path is from a combination of donations from Bike the Neck, Georgetown County funding, and state and federal funds through grants, said Paul Battaglino, the county’s capital projects coordinator.
He said this section of the path will be complete by November 2014, if not before.
There are three phases, Battaglino said: The section from Willbrook Boulevard to All Saints Church, a 300-foot bridge section on Kings River Road, and along Waverly Road to Waccamaw Elementary School.
This section of the project involves some piping, filling drainage ditches, and utility relocation, he said.
Once this section of the path is complete, by contract, Georgetown County is responsible for maintaining the path along Kings River Road and the Georgetown County School District is responsible for maintaining the Waverly Road section, Battaglino said.
That is because a portion of the funding for the Waverly Road section came from a Safe Routes to School grant.
Linda Ketron, chair of the Bike the Neck committee, has been working to create the path from Murrells Inlet to Georgetown, as part of the East Coast Greenway, for almost two decades.
This section of the path has been on hold for about five years, she said.
“I am thrilled to see construction underway,” Ketron said. “Soon, someone from Murrells Inlet will be able to come all the way down to Pawleys Island on the bike path.
She said the next section of bike path to complete will be in North Litchfield between Trace Drive and Boyle Drive.
Currently, bicyclists must share the road with motor vehicles in that section.
After that, Ketron said the committee is trying to decide whether to continue the path to Georgetown as originally planned or to connect paths in the Pawleys Island area.
She said one idea is to continue the path down Kings River Road to Highway 17, coming out at the Founders Club golf course.
Another idea is to create a path behind the Lakes at Litchfield and by Litchfield Country Club to Parkersville and Petigru roads.
“We are excited about that one,” Ketron said. “Since the route to Hobcaw Barony is at least seven miles long it wouldn’t really be for recreational bikers. We think a better use of our time might be to connect parts of the community.”
The reason the path does not go through Pawleys Island’s business district is because the numerous entrance points along that stretch of road would make it dangerous for bicyclists and motorists.
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