Edisto Beach rolls out new help for visitors with limited mobility

Edisto Beach rolls out new help for visitors with limited mobility
Edisto Beach officials rolled out the mats Thursday and say they're already receiving positive feedback from beachgoers. (Source: Town of Edisto Beach/Facebook)

EDISTO BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - For people with mobility limitations, visiting a beach can present special challenges. Edisto Beach has installed a new way to help.

The town installed black mats Thursday at two locations, Beach Access 1 and 16, designed to make walking and rolling wheelchairs to the beach easier.

The mats are made of 100 percent recyclable material and can be rolled up during periods of severe weather.
The mats are made of 100 percent recyclable material and can be rolled up during periods of severe weather. (Source: Town of Edisto Beach/Facebook)

The mats are made of 100 percent recyclable material and cost approximately $1,500 each, according to the town’s administrative manager, Mark Aakhaus.

Town council requested the mats be added, Aakhaus said, and the town is using mats from two different manufacturers and gauging how the public feels about them. So far, Aakhaus said the response has been very positive.

“People seemed really happy,” Town Administrator Iris Hill said.

In addition to making access easier, the mats stay a little cooler than the sand, Hill said.

Beach Access mats have been installed on Beach Access 1 and Beach Access 16!

Posted by Town of Edisto Beach on Thursday, May 23, 2019

Because of severe erosion on Edisto Beach, Hill said the town spends a lot of time adding sand to the beach and removing sections of wooden boardwalks that become inundated or buried.

“This allows us to put a material down that’s less maintenance,” Hill said.

The mats are meant to stay in place year round, but they can easily be rolled up during periods of severe weather and then rolled back out and re-staked once that weather passes by, Hill said.

The town plans to monitor how the mats perform and follow the feedback of visitors before deciding whether to add additional mats at other beach access points.

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