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Charleston set to move into second phase of West Ashley drainage project

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 3:16 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2022 at 7:46 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A flood-prone area of West Ashley off Highway 61 could soon see millions of dollars in drainage improvements over the coming year.

The City of Charleston said Tuesday they are preparing to move into the next phase of the Forest Acres Drainage Improvement Project.

Neighbors said they have to walk in the middle of the street whenever it rains because of how deep and murky the water can be, leaving the sidewalks unusable.

The city is set to begin working on Phase 2 of the project, which will cost between $8 million and $10 million to construct.

It will run from Highway 61, near the Palmilla Apartment complex and St. Andrews Parks and Recreation, down to the West Ashley Bikeway on Playground Road.

This next phase will install around 1,000 feet of pipes under Playground Road to connect with the first phase of the project near the bikeway, as well as improving the existing canals in the area.

Since the first phase was completed in 2018, the city says there has been no major construction on the project because they were acquiring property, moving utilities and designing this next phase.

Right now, the city is procuring bids for the project’s construction. That will run until May 12.

“These were severely flooded areas that are identified in the original City 1984 Master Drainage Plan as some of the most flood-impacted areas of West Ashley,” Charleston Stormwater Director Matthew Fountain said. “There’s already been substantial improvement from phase one of the project, but we do expect to see, especially in the upstream area, another significant improvement on Phase 2.”

The city said they expect shovels to be in the ground for this project in late summer, possibly around August.

They also said it will take around a year to complete, with construction being completed by the end of next year.

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