While the long-term plan to revitalize West Ashley is still under construction, smaller projects to improve the Charleston suburb have started taking shape.
At its meeting last month, Charleston County Council approved the following sidewalk extensions which will help connect West Ashley's neighborhoods and commercial areas:
- Sycamore Avenue, connecting to Magnolia Road.
- Carriage Lane, connecting Ashley River Road to Old Towne Road.
- Markfield Drive, connecting Savannah Highway to the West Ashley Greenway.
- Orleans Road, connecting the Sam Rittenberg Boulevard intersection to Hazelwood Drive.
- Stinson Drive, also connecting Savannah Highway to the West Ashley Greenway.
The Charleston Parks Conservancy will soon begin planning the major improvement project of the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway. The nonprofit recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund public art displays along the Greenway.
Harry Lesesne, executive director of the conservancy, said a planner with experience in public art will be hired for the project by next month.
The city of Charleston has already begun some improvements on the section of the Greenway between Parkdale Drive and Croghan's Landing.
The county and the city of Charleston have also partnered on a plan to connect the West Ashley Bikeway to the Greenway on Wappoo Road, which is being funded with $362,785 in federal money provided by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments.
At other parks in West Ashley, the city has:
- Received a grant for new playground equipment at Lenavar Park; installation begins this month.
- Installed new playground equipment at Randolph Park.
- Contracted a design firm to improve Bender Street Park over the next six months.
Dover Kohl, the city's consultant for the West Ashley Master Plan, expects to present a draft of the plan to City Council by the end of the year.