More Spanish Moss Trail

137There are now seven contiguous miles of the Spanish Moss trail in Beaufort, South Carolina open for business! In January, PATH crews completed a 1.6 mile segment between the freight depot at Depot Road and Broad River Road north of Smalls Parkway.

This latest phase was funded by a Transportation Enhancement allocation from the South Carolina Department of Transportation with matching funding from Beaufort County. PATH performed in an advisory role during design and construction of the project. (see picture)

The highlight of this segment was the restoration of a 900 foot-long causeway bridge over McCaulley’s Creek. Andrews-Burgess, a local design and engineering firm, was charged with engineering the restoration. For fifty years, the ebbing and flowing of the salt water tidal creek had eroded concrete from the bents, exposing metal reinforcing rods which rendered the bridge unusable without extensive refurbishment. Work in the tidal creek was done from a barge, with new piles driven and new concrete bents formed and poured. The bridge work accounted for more than half of the cost of building the entire segment. The restored McCaulley Creek Bridge is already a favored destination for Spanish Moss Trail users.

A not-so-glamorous amenity, but just as appreciated as the bridge, is the signalized crossing of Small’s Parkway, a busy five-lane thoroughfare that was virtually uncrossable for pedestrians and cyclists near the location of the trail. Trail users can now travel seamlessly from the Town of Port Royal to Roseida Road near the Beaufort Marine Air Base, thanks to the restored bridge and the signalized intersection.

The PATH design team recently submitted plans for environmental permitting for four additional miles of the trail. Construction will begin between Laurel Bay Road and Clarendon Road this summer.