The Town of Bluffton is scheduled to begin the Oyster Factory Drainage and Boat Ramp Improvement Project which will enhance drainage, install new sidewalks and replace the gravel portion of Wharf Street which approaches the boat ramp with concrete.
The work, which began Jan. 7, will require the closure of the boat ramp at Oyster Factory Park through the middle of February.
The project will improve the park's drainage and pedestrian access, and will permanently stabilize the access road to the boat ramp for boaters and visitors. The contractor, JS Construction Services, expects the project to last 30 days, weather permitting.
"While there is no perfect time to schedule work on the boat ramp, this project was postponed to January and February because it is the least disruptive to water activities on the May River," said Bryan McIlwee, the town's director of engineering.
Town manager Marc Orlando said it is a priority to keep the town's parks functioning at a high standard.
"The town's parks and open spaces are an important component to Bluffton's quality of life," Orlando said. "More sidewalks, better drainage and a smoother road to the boat ramp will improve the park's walkability and accessibility to its amenities."
While the Oyster Factory Park boat ramp is closed, boaters can use the following public boat ramps: Alljoy Public Dock (off Alljoy Road), the H.E. Trask Sr. Boat Landing (off Sawmill Creek Road), Buckingham Landing (off Fording Island Road), and C.C. Haigh Jr. Boat Landing (off Highway 278 across from Pinckney Island).
"As a boater myself, I realize we all must sacrifice a month of convenience for the overall good of the park and a better experience for all who come here to boat, enjoy festivals, visit the Garvin-Garvey House or just watch the sunset," said Bluffton's mayor pro tempore Larry Toomer. "Rest assured, town staff and its contractors will do all they can to finish this project as soon as possible."
The Bluffton Oyster Factory and the Garvin-Garvey House will remain open and operate their regular business hours during the project.
Residents and guests are encouraged to use the parking lot adjacent to Bridge Street to avoid the construction zone. Parking access for patrons will be available to the Bluffton Oyster Factory. Citizens are reminded to follow signs and directions from construction crew members.
Signage will be installed directing pedestrian access along both sides of the construction zone to allow visitors safe access to two of the park's signature establishments.
For more information about the Oyster Factory Park project, contact McIlwee at 843-706-7824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.