Charleston’s largest drainage project underway

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 7:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Between the Ashley River Bridges the City of Charleston is building the largest flood drainage system they’ve ever had.

The project started about 10 years ago and is now a couple years from being finished, Charleston Director of Stormwater Management Matthew Fountain says. Once complete, he says it will be able to move 360,000 gallons of water per minute.

Fountain says the deep tunnel project will help alleviate flooding in the area near Spring Street, Fishburne Street, and the medical district.

The project is comprised of a system of tunnels leading to a large pump that Fountain says will bring the flood water out of downtown and into the Ashley River.

“This is a major transportation corridor,” Fountain said. “Its how you get people into the hospital district, its how you get people from West Ashley to 26, even from the Mount Pleasant corridor after West Ashley. So this is one that will be immediately visible for the results of the project.”

The project is now in phase 4 out of 5.

Fountain says phase 4 is expected to be complete by Summer 2022 and there will be a noticeable difference in flooding, especially at the Crosstown, when phase 4 is complete.

When phase 5 is complete, Fountain says there will be a large structure to house the pumps between the two bridges.

The whole project is expected to be complete in the end of 2023, but Fountain says once it’s finished, there will be very little flooding in and around the medical district, even during tropical storms.

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