BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Tensions flared during a heated Beaufort County council meeting on Hilton Head Island on Monday evening. The purpose of the meeting was to give residents a chance to voice their opinions on the Highway 278 bridge debate.

After 15 minutes of public comment to open the meeting, the council did not take any more comments about the bridge during the meeting. They instead allowed 20 minutes of public comment after the council meeting, which had dozens of local residents voicing their disapproval of the nearly $300 million project.

“Why would you even entertain the possible huge alteration in the 287 corridor project when there is no evidence that having an 11-lane wide single span bridge that dumps all the traffic onto Hilton Head will do anything but significantly make the current peak traffic flow problem geometrically worse,” said resident, Gray Smith.

Those in attendance also brought up the fact that it’s an election year, and a new city council may not be on board with the current council’s decisions.

According to Chairman Joe Passiment, construction for the project must start no later than 2024 and finish by 2028, or else they will lose the funds needed for the expansion.