An Update from Deputy Town Manager Josh Gruber 2/23/2021

An Update from Deputy Town Manager Josh Gruber
2/23/2021
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Here’s an update on what’s happening around Town:
Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital to Reduce COVID-19 Testing Schedule
As the demand and positivity rate for COVID-19 testing continues to decline within the community, Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital plan to reduce their hours of operation for drive-thru testing. Effective Monday, March 1, the hospitals will only offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please note, starting next week, the drive-thru will no longer be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Testing is conducted in the same locations and is completed with or without a physician’s order and at no charge to participants. We thank both hospitals for the service they have offered over the many, many months since local COVID-19 testing began. They have been an incredible partner in the fight against COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Do you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines or need help finding vaccine providers? Call the DHEC COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110. It’s available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. South Carolina is still distributing vaccines to individuals in its Phase 1A group. For more information about the statewide vaccination plan, visit https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine.
Town of Hilton Head Island COVID-19 Hub Page hiltonheadislandsc.gov/COVID19
Our COVID-19 Hub page includes links to information DHEC has compiled about COVID-19 cases, vaccines, the state’s vaccine distribution plan, and the vaccine locator map. You can also find information on community resources.
Town Staff and Committees Value Your Input
Town staff and committees value your input. Since COVID-19, we have used our Open Town Hall portal now more than ever to accept your feedback on a range of topics. The portal gives you an opportunity to comment on meeting agenda items and other topics on which we seek public input. To submit comments, please visit the Open Town Hall portal on our website at hiltonheadislandsc.gov. The feedback you give is shared with our staff and Town Council members so they can learn about and address your concerns.
We invite your feedback on the following:
  • Agenda items for the Planning Commission CIP meeting on February 25.
  • Agenda items for the Gullah-Geechee Land & Cultural Preservation Task Force Meeting on March 1.
  • The Historic Neighborhoods Preservation Overlay District questionnaire.
  • The Fire Rescue communications survey.
Repaving Work Scheduled for Sea Pines Circle
Repaving work for Sea Pines Circle is set to begin Monday, March 1. Work will take place between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Crews will repave all lanes around the circle. All work is expected to be completed by Friday, March 19. Please use caution if you are traveling in the area during this time.
SCDOT Starts Widening of Highway 17 in Jasper County
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) began construction yesterday to widen nearly 4.2 miles of US 17 from the Georgia border to the intersection of SC 315 near Hardeeville, SC. SCDOT will widen the roadway from two to four lanes and make other improvements to enhance its safety and accommodate increasing traffic associated with residential and economic growth in the region. Although this is not a Hilton Head Island project, it is a regional project that potentially affects people traveling from Hilton Head Island to Georgia.
The $41.9 million project includes a divided grass median between the new four lanes, wider shoulders, and safety rumble strips. SCDOT will also install bike lanes and intersection improvements, including the installation of new traffic signaling at the SC 315 and US 17 intersection. A second phase of the project is being designed by Georgia DOT to construct a second bridge over Back River near the Savannah River.
Construction signs will be placed along the corridor. Significant ground improvements, such as specialized work on new roadway embankments and compacting the soil to support the new highway, will add time to construction. SCDOT expects the construction work, awarded to R.B. Baker Construction in a competitive bid process, to be completed by late 2025.
The project is funded by SCDOT through the Lowcountry Area Transportation Study (LATS) and the Lowcountry Council of Governments, which rate the project as a top road infrastructure priority of the region. The US 17 widening project is a part of SCDOT’s 10-Year Plan to repave South Carolina’s aging corridors, rebuild or replace deteriorating bridges, make our rural roads safer, and improve key portions of our interstates. SCDOT has tripled its road work to $3.4 billion in recent years and is ahead of schedule in the fourth year of the 10-Year Plan.
Join our Award-Winning Fire Rescue Department
The Town of Hilton Head Island’s Fire Rescue Department is looking for some more frontline stars to join its team. The department has an immediate need to fill current vacancies for firefighters. The online application period will be open through Sunday, March 21. To apply, visit our website at hiltonheadislandsc.gov and click on “Employment Opportunities” at the top of the page. To learn more about our award-winning Fire Rescue Department and its accomplishments, visit https://hiltonheadislandsc.gov/publications/reports/FireRescueAnnualReport.pdf
Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue provides fire suppression, ALS transport – emergency medical services (EMS), hazardous materials, and technical rescue services to a community of approximately 37,000 full-time residents and over 2 million visitors annually. Applicants must be 18 years old at the time of hire, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, and be in good physical health as determined by a medical examination. Additional qualifications that may be obtained after hire.
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