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County builds new set of sidewalks, walking trails; Community improvements also underway

Colleton County residents are about to receive a series of new walking trails, biking paths, and sidewalks, as existing railroad-right-of-ways are being turned into the trails and new sidewalks are being laid.
The long-awaited project is part of a series of recreational upgrades that are now happening in the county near the outskirts of Walterboro.
The first expansion officially began when Colleton County Council recently approved and adopted a bike and pedestrian plan for the county. This includes a sidewalk project on S.C. Highway 64, from Widgeon Road to Peurifoy Road.
The second sidewalk project is being laid along the Pine Needle and Peurifoy Road area in the Gadson Loop Neighborhood. This neighborhood consists of three subdivisions: Pine Hill, Green Park and Sunnydel. According to Phillip Slayter, director of the county’s development department and champion of the project, these three areas of the county were chosen because of existing drainage issues near the neighborhoods on S.C. Highway 303, otherwise known as Green Pond Highway.
“DOT asked us, the county, and the CTC (Colleton Transportation Commission) to put funding toward doing this, and we did,” said Slayter. “And while we were addressing this issue, then we saw a need for more neighborhood improvements.”
According to Slayter, additional neighborhood improvements include using grant funds for new sidewalks for the community, new lighting, and cleanup of the community overall.

The final project for paths and sidewalks improvements is called the “Greenway Project.” It is being funded via a mixture of S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism funds and money from the CTC. “This plan comes from a county master plan of using the old railroad bed, from Green Pond to the edge of city limits, said Slayter, speaking of Walterboro. “We applied for funding through the state … and we are at the verge of wrapping up construction plans on the greenway, from Folly Creek Lane about 38 miles toward Walterboro,” he said.
The trail itself will a bike and pedestrian recreation trail. “The county invested a lot of capital sales tax on recreation complex expansion … and that’s needed and is wonderful and good for active sports. But there is also a need for rural recreation and walking trails,” said Slayter. 
In all, the entire project costs $1.1 million. This includes $250,000 from the county given to the CTC for drainage and a $400,000 earmarked for sidewalks.
The county will hold a grand opening for all of the projects when they are complete and will include parking for the trails. The Friends of the ACE Trail is a non-profit organization that will advocate for further expansion of the trails, he said. 

Heather Walters (1341 Posts)