Hilton Head Island Town Councilman Lee Edwards said the state and county should instead pursue a new plan by Beaufort County Councilman Stu Rodman.
Rodman wants to eliminate the eastbound flyover and instead make the extension at grade.
The Fording Island Road Extension would then intersect with Bluffton Parkway rather than going under it.
Doing so would save millions, according to Rodman, without endangering the project, but would not address the more prominent westbound flyover Edwards argues spoils the entrance to the island.
Rodman, though, says engineers should reassess whether the westbound flyover is warranted, arguing traffic models used are outdated. Should it remain, he argues it could be beautified similar to the U.S. 278 crossing over S.C. 170. He said bidders were asked to say how they would spruce up the flyovers with landscaping and decorative materials.
Unlike Edwards, however, Rodman does not want to see construction halted.
“My hope is engineers will take a look at it, but I do not want to lose the $15 million,” he said of state and federal money that has been set aside for the project, expected to cost $36.7 million to $43 million.
S.C. DOT commissioner Craig Forrest of Bluffton has warned that could happen if significant changes are made.
“A lot of money has been spent to prepare the area for the flyovers to be built,” Beaufort County Council chairman Weston Newton said. “And you come back to testament from emergency management officials who say most recent suggestions don’t allow for continuous flow of traffic. Aesthetics is important, but so is the efficient movement of people in a safe manner.”