‘Instant landmark’ gets to work
by The Press and Standard | September 5, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: September 4, 2019 at 8:50 am
The fountain that will be a focal point of the current section of the city’s I-95 Business Loop project was put to work the morning of Aug. 29.
“We are excited to get the fountain going,” said Walterboro Assistant City Manager Hank Amundson. Amundson has been assigned to work with the contractors for both the Loop Project and the construction of the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary’s Discovery Center.
The fountain was turned on in the morning, but the water flow was dialed down in the early afternoon to allow city employees to undergo training on how to maintain, clean and check it.
Even though the fountain is something new for the city, its operation is a lot like a pool filtration system. Instead of having just one city technician receive the training, city officials had employees from three different departments on hand to learn how the system works and what is required to keep it working.
Amundson was returning to Walterboro from an out-of-town meeting about 9:30 p.m. When he arrived at the intersection of Jefferies Boulevard and Washington Street, his eyes were immediately drawn to the fountain, ablaze in lights.
He parked to get a closer look and snap some cell phone shots. A couple was sitting on one of the park benches that encircle the fountain, watching the dancing waters. “It was kind of cool,” Amundson said.
In the design phase and construction of the fountain, Amundson said he didn’t know what to expect.
When he arrived at the intersection that evening, he added, he realized “it is instantly a landmark. It says ‘that’s downtown.’”
It also proclaims the same message in daylight, telling travelers that the downtown is on East Washington Street.
The fountain is going to stay on while the work on the I-95 Business Loop Project work between Elizabeth Street and Benson Street continues.
“Eventually we will have a big ribbon cutting,” Amundson said, but city officials, with the fountain and surrounding plaza finished, “decided they hold off” until the entire project is complete.
Amundson said the city and its contractor, Westwood Contractors Inc., have always realized that the installation of the special mast arms that will hold the traffic signals would be the last part of the work to be completed.
They expected delays in getting delivery on the mast arms and now they recently heard that delivery is going to be delayed further because of an issue that effecting the nation’s steel producers.