West Ashley drainage project already working amid construction
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With a $25 million drainage improvement project still in the works at the corner of Playground Road and Fifth Avenue in West Ashley, city officials say it’s headed in the right direction.
Phase one of the Forest Acres Drainage Improvement Project was completed in 2018 and the second phase began just a little over a year ago. This roughly $25 million project covers 330 acres of drainage basin.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says this area didn’t have enough piping to handle the rain coming in before, causing it to flood neighboring yards and homes. But he said he noticed the project was already working when Tropical Storm Idalia hit.
“Last week, from the tropical storm, we got positive, very positive, feedback from some of the neighbors that it drained so much better than storms had seen in the past,” Tecklenburg said. “So, we think we’re on a good track with it.”
Tecklenburg says they have more than 30 active projects going on across the city and over $100 million going into infrastructure.
In Forest Acres, the mayor says the channel has expanded so the water can drain into the Ashley River. What’s left are a few aesthetic fixes with more sidewalks planning to be added, plus repaving of the road come spring.
As far as replicating this project, Tecklenburg says it’s a yes if it applies to that specific basin.
“We like open conveyance,” Tecklenburg said. “Frankly, it can be less expensive, oftentimes, than piping everything. So, and it holds and channels more water... Where we have the room and can get the real estate, yes, it makes sense to do it like this.”
Charleston City Council will provide this status update during Tuesday night’s meeting. The mayor says the project is expected to be completed next year.
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