News Release

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Planning Consultants Present Preliminary Recommendations for Corridor Project to Town Council

September 14, 2021

Using smart signal technology, slightly realigning William Hilton Parkway as it traverses through Stoney, and better accommodating bikers and pedestrians are among preliminary recommendations planning consultants presented to Hilton Head Island Town Council on Monday.

The strategies could be used to enhance the William Hilton Parkway (US 278) Gateway Corridor Project, according to the consultants with MKSK, a Greenville, South Carolina-based urban planning firm; and HDR, a national engineering firm. Since early April of this year, they have worked with Town staff to analyze the South Carolina Department of Transportation's (SCDOT) preferred alternative route for bridge and roadway improvements from Moss Creek Drive in Bluffton to Spanish Wells Road on Hilton Head Island. SCDOT officials announced plans for their chosen route to the public in July.

"Using local knowledge obtained through numerous public meetings, resident conversations, direct Council input and daily interaction with Town Staff, the team of consultants has sought to create community-based enhancements to the SCDOT plan that not only address transportation issues but create a gateway to the Island and improve the quality of life of those directly impacted by this project," said Hilton Head Island Town Manager Marc Orlando.

Beyond the bridges to Hilton Head Island, the road runs through the Island’s historic Stoney neighborhood, home to dozens of local residents and businesses.

"Our goal has been to create more of a 'parkway' and less of a 'highway'," said Brian Kinzelman, Senior Principal of MKSK. "Providing for the safety and betterment of the Stoney residents and property owners is critical to this project’s success. They have been key contributors to our effort."

Enhancements presented include modifying the roadway alignment slightly to negate long parallel straightaways that will encourage moderate travel speed, improved and intuitive intersection design, improved pedestrian and bike accommodations, "smart" signal technology, coordinated signage, landscape and public art program, accessible public open space and encouraged views to the marshes and open water.

"We are pleased with the draft recommendations. So far, these are already showing that by working closely with the community, we can come up with ways to preserve neighborhoods and businesses and lessen some of the impact of a project of this magnitude," said Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann. "We started community engagement on this project two years ago. We are working hard to ensure mobility and land planning are well-balanced, and the needs of all Island residents are met."

"The Town and the consultant team will continue to seek public input and will review the public comments submitted to SCDOT on its preferred alternative as well as SCDOT's response to the public comments once they are made available. This will help the consultant team craft final recommendations for the Town's use in conversations with SCDOT about opportunities to align the local preferred enhancements while maintaining the operational goals for the transportation system," said Shawn Colin, Senior Advisor to the Town Manager.

Final recommendations from MKSK and HDR are likely to be completed later this fall.

View the presentation at

Carolyn Grant , Communications Director