Updated: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 18:23

Tybee streetscape improvements finally ready

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<p node="media-caption">Adam Van Brimmer/Savannah Morning News</p><p node="media-caption">Inset palm trees and brick pavers are features of the Butler Avenue streetscape improvements. The project will be completed by the end of the week, a city official told the Tybee Island Tourism Council on Wednesday.</p>

Adam Van Brimmer/Savannah Morning News

Inset palm trees and brick pavers are features of the Butler Avenue streetscape improvements. The project will be completed by the end of the week, a city official told the Tybee Island Tourism Council on Wednesday.

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Tybee Island’s main drag makeover is nearing completion.

Crews will finish the Butler Avenue streetscape improvements by the end of the week, a city official told the Tybee Island Tourism Council on Wednesday.

The project, more than five years in the making, beautifies Butler between 14th and Tybrisa streets and also makes the stretch more pedestrian-friendly.

“It’s turned out really nice,” said Chantel Morton, the city’s Better Hometown coordinator.

The improved stretch features wider sidewalks inlaid with brick pavers and inset with palm trees. Crews removed the many false driveways and curb cuts in the sidewalks, making a more level grade.

All but one troublesome corner of the project were completed last week ahead of the island’s Mardi Gras parade and celebration.

Several tourism council board members noticed the improvements during the annual street party and praised the work.

The new streetscape mirrors those made along Tybrisa Street between Butler Avenue and The Strand in 2008.

Work on the one unfinished portion, on the northwest corner of the Butler and 14th intersection, was ongoing Wednesday. Crews were correcting a “trip hazard” at the spot.

The project has been in the works since January 2008, when the state awarded Tybee a $125,000 grant for Butler Avenue improvements.

The original concept was to restore the palm-lined median that once existed along that stretch of Butler but was removed in the early 1960s.

Those plans met with opposition from area residents and business owners concerned about access and traffic flow, among other issues.

The city put the project out for bid anyway, only to shelve it when the one qualified bid exceeded budget by $270,000.

The revised plans were approved in the fall.

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