Entrance to Waterfront Park getting new walkway and landscaping

Renovations and landscaping will improve safety and the visual beauty of a key entrance to the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort.

The West Street Extension plaza runs from Bay Street between Barefoot Bubba’s and Bay Street Jewelers and the Common Ground coffee shop and Yacht Club at the waterfront park. This plaza wasn’t included in 2007 park renovations.

In recent years, the West Street Extension plaza’s tree roots have lifted up sections of tabby sidewalk, creating potential trip hazards despite the orange spray paint outlining the raised edges, and the landscaping needs sprucing up, Beaufort Interim City Manager Bill Prokop said.

Starting this week, some noisy but necessary work will be done to start the renovations, including:

  •        The plaza will be closed to public access on Tuesday and Wednesday this week
  •        Tuesday, Public Works crews will remove tabby from around the trees, remove shrubs, remove benches and relocate newspaper boxes to the breezeway area at the Downtown Marina restroom building
  •        Wednesday, Fred’s Tree Service will be taking down all trees along this plaza
  •        During these two days of demolition, there will still be access to steps into Barefoot Bubba’s, and that store will be utilized as access to the Lollipop Shop.

“It’s going to be noisy when the tree removal and stump grinding work is being done, but we hope to limit that to one day,” said Eliza Hill, Beaufort’s landscape architect. “Once we get that work completed, we’ll move on to making some wonderful improvements.”

The new plaza will have a center area of brick paving with scored concrete along the sides.  Sabal palms will to be planted to visually frame the views into the Waterfront Park.

“It’s a fairly simple design,” Hill said. “We have eliminated plant beds in an  attempt to increase the usable area and to reduce maintenance requirements. For many people, locals and visitors alike, this is the main entry to the riverfront.”

Barring weather delays, demolition is expected to be completed by March 30. Bids for the renovation and landscaping are due to Beaufort City Hall March 23, with the entire project, including plantings and the brick pavers installed, anticipated to be done by May 1.