A multi-million dollar road construction project is scheduled to begin this week in downtown Charleston.
Changes will be made to the tunnel system beneath Septima Clark Parkway in an effort to address flooding problems on the road. The road is an important evacuation route and serves as an entrance to the Medical University of South Carolina, Roper Hospital and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center.
The City of Charleston spent $8 million on research and development for this construction project.
A new pump station will be built as well as a 130-foot deep tunnel system to drain storm water into the Ashley River.
The project is also intended to make transportation more efficient for drivers. Pedestrians will benefit from improved intersections and crosswalks as well.
Construction of the project will cost $11.3 million and was approved by the Charleston City Council on Feb. 22.
This project will be funded in part with money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. was instrumental in helping the city land a $10 million grant from the ARRA.
"This work will be the beginning of providing safe passage on the Septima Clark Parkway for the thousands of residents, commuters and visitors who use this vital roadway daily. I continue to seek further funding to complete this project," said Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
Work on the drainage portion of the project is expected to last around 18 months.
A majority of the construction will take place at night to minimize traffic disruption. Workers will try to keep disruption to a minimum, but some lanes might be closed on certain nights.
More information about the project and alternate traffic routes can be found at www.SeptimaClarkProject.com.