Drainage projects underway to address local flooding

Drainage projects underway to address local flooding

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston is no stranger to frequent flooding, maximized by heavy rain and high tides.

Several projects to improve drainage in the Charleston area are in the works, including an ongoing focus on the Charleston Market area downtown.

"I know the vendors, they pretty much have it figured out," Daniel Miner, a vendor himself, said. "They don't come, or they come prepared."

In 2006, the City of Charleston started Division I of the Market Street Drainage Improvement Project, focusing on surface collection improvements on Concord St. as well as upgrading and installing additional pumps.

The City also completed the second phase of the Market St. drainage project, which included installing new drains.

They're now working on designing the final phase, replacing the existing storm water collection system on North and South Market streets.

According to the city's project website, work should begin late 2016.

Miner said vendors have learned to adjust to the routine flooding.

About three weeks ago, the flooding was pretty heavy and the drains were working, but it just couldn't keep up," Miner said. "The water doesn't have a whole lot of options of where it can go, especially on a high tide."

in last week's state of the city address, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said early planning is also being done for drainage projects in West Ashley, including the St. Andrews Shopping Center, Citadel Mall and Orleans Rd. The city will also continue to focus on solutions for Shadowmoss residents, after storms this fall flooded neighborhood homes.

Meanwhile on Johns Island, some people are relieved to see Main Rd. construction complete after flooding forced the road to close multiple times last fall.

"They did raise the road asphalt as well as dig out some of the ditches," Tasha Eady, supervisor at Gillian's Restaurant, said. "I think there was some redirection of water with old pipes and stuff."

An official for Charleston County said the Main Rd. project is complete; no further funding is available for other improvements at this time. Eady said the recent improvements seem to help.

"It seems like when we do get the rain, the drainage is working a lot better. Raising that level of asphalt has increased the ability for the water to go away," Eady said. "We have noticed a significant improvement, thank goodness, because it was certainly detrimental to the business to not have Main Road open."
Other large drainage projects include the ongoing U.S. 17 Spring /Fishburne drainage improvement project.

The project area encompasses about 20 percent of the peninsula, an area that gets routine, significant flooding and includes MUSC, Roper Hospital, the VA hospital, the Citadel, Burke High School, the Crosstown and more. 
Phase 1 of that project is complete; it included installing more than 175 storm water structures and more than 5,000 feet of piping along the Crosstown. Work for Phase 2 is still underway and is focused on storm water collection improvements.

While Phase 2 isn't expected to finish until 2017, Phase 3 bid process is now underway, according to Thursday updates on the project's website. Phase 3 will include building more tunnels in the affected region.

Construction for the U.S. 17 Spring /Fishburne drainage project is projected to last until 2020. The cost is estimated around $146 million.

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