State House tunnel set for $58k repair

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - There have long been tales that under the South Carolina State House lay a network of tunnels – caverns that supposedly can be used for a secret voyage to the Congaree River.

The truth is more mundane. There are indeed tunnels under the Capitol Complex, but they are mere utility service corridors used to carry power and steam to the State House. One of those corridors is now in need of repairs that will require excavation on the State House grounds beginning Sept. 22.

Work crews from AOS Construction will dig a two-foot-deep trench that will allow them to fix the roof of the 400-foot tunnel, which has decayed due to years of moisture intrusion. The S.C. Budget and Control Board's Facilities Management section maintains the State House and is supervising the work.

Digging will start on the north, or Gervais Street, side of the African American Monument and will continue to the Wade Hampton and Calhoun buildings. Barricades will keep pedestrians away from the work site but will not restrict access to Capitol Complex buildings.

According to the Budget and Control Board, the work should take about 20 days to complete and will cost an estimated $58,475.

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