McMaster budget to include $10M for flooding relief for Charleston medical district

McMaster budget to include $10M for flooding relief for Charleston medical district
Gov. Henry McMaster is planning to set aside $10 million in his executive spending plan to fund flooding relief in Charleston's medical district. (Source: SCETV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster plans to set aside $10 million in his executive spending plan to help solve flooding problems in Charleston.

RAW VIDEO: Charleston leaders hold news conference on flooding relief

Tecklenburg thanked McMaster for agreeing to set aside the funds and thanked lawmakers in advance for supporting the governor's request.

He said he invited McMaster to see an underground tunnel back in February and pointed out that if that tunnel could be extended about three blocks, it could serve the medical district.

“And right there on the spot, he said, ‘Mayor, we’re going to work to get this done,’” Tecklenburg said. “He’s a man of his word, and I’m so thankful to Gov. McMaster.”

“Each year that USC faces severe tidal flooding and we continue to have a lack of storm surge mitigation preparedness in the medical district, that poses additional health and human safety risks,” MUSC Health CEO and Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Patrick Cawley said. “Our governor and our mayor recognize as we do that it’s time to act. And this investment will allow MUSC to connect to the city’s deepwater well storm drainage project, and that current activity is critical to our mission, and will help us continue to ensure the safety of our patients, our families, our students and our entire care team, as we continue to transform, grow and change what’s possible in healthcare.”

The timing of this funding will allow for significant cost and time savings, since the Spring/Fishburne project is already underway, Charleston spokesman Jack O’Toole said. That phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Initial engineering for the shaft and tunnel system that will be constructed on Ehrhardt Street, located near the Medical University of South Carolina, Roper Hospital and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, is already underway, O’Toole said.

When lawmakers return to the Statehouse in January to begin putting together the spending plan, they are expected to have an additional $1.8 billion to work with.

McMaster is expected to release his budget in January.

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