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Plans for widening a portion of S.C. 170 bordering Sun City Hilton Head can move forward following an announcement Thursday that Beaufort County will get $25 million in long-awaited money from the state.
The money, from the state Department of Transportation's Infrastructure Bank, was awarded after County Council Chairman Weston Newton asked the bank in December for a portion of an $86 million grant that had been approved but not yet disbursed.
"I couldn't be any more delighted by it," Newton said.
The project will turn the two-lane highway into four lanes, taking care of years of complaints from residents of Sun City Hilton Head and other drivers who travel the narrow, pothole-filled road.
It's not yet clear when construction can begin because the county still must work out some details with the infrastructure bank and the Department of Transportation.
The S.C. 170 improvements were included in a 2006 referendum, approved by voters, that allows the county to use proceeds of a penny sales tax to help pay for road projects. With the money, the county can complete the widening of S.C. 170 from U.S. 278 to S.C. 46 -- a $31 million project -- without drawing money from sales-tax funds.
County officials can now consider using the leftover funds, along with money that would be available from a matching grant, to build two flyover lanes linking the eastern end of the Bluffton Parkway to U.S. 278. The flyovers would carry traffic around the busy Moss Creek/U.S 278 intersection.
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