U.S. 17 Spring / Fishburne Drainage Improvement Project

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Project Overview

From the moment the Septima Clark Parkway was constructed across the Peninsula to connect the Ashley River bridges to the Cooper River bridges, a jagged, indelible scar was slashed across the City of Charleston, dividing neighborhoods, separating friends and families, and creating a tear in the fabric of the City. The six-lane "expressway's" sole focus was on quickly moving vehicles giving little thought or planning to pedestrians. The road was stark and barren, uninviting to motorist and dangerous to pedestrians. In addition, no thought to improving the drainage infrastructure was given during design and construction, adding additional stormwater runoff to an already undersized system. As a result, during times of moderate to heavy rainfall that fall within a few hours of high tide, the Crosstown becomes impassable to vehicles, oftentimes for many hours, cutting off access to vital entities such as:

  • 2 Fire Stations
  • 3 Major Area Hospitals Including the VA Hospital and MUSC's Level 1 Trauma Center
  • 4 Area Schools
  • City of Charleston Police Station Headquarters
  • National Guard Center
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters

Project Goals

The U.S.17 Septima Clark Parkway Transportation Infrastructure Reinvestment Project is designed to heal the scar; to improve the mobility, efficiency, emergency preparedness, and community livability; and, most importantly, to alleviate many of the flooding problems by reinvesting in the infrastructure. The transportation advancements will incorporate safer travel lanes for vehicles; improved intersections for pedestrian safety and vehicle efficiency; Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS); and new, energy-efficient traffic signals. The infrastructure reinvestment will consist of constructing improved and additional surface collection systems throughout parts of the basins, drilling several shafts from the surface down as much as 150 feet, boring three 12-foot diameter tunnels connecting the shafts, constructing a new pump station on the Ashley River, and constructing an outfall from the pump station to the Ashley River.

Project Area

The project area makes up approximately 20% of the peninsula of Charleston and experiences regular, significant flooding. Affected entities include:

  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments
  • Burke High School
  • Businesses and Residents in the Area
  • Citadel
  • City of Charleston Fire Department
  • City of Charleston Police
  • Crosstown (Which Inhibits Interstate Travel, Commerce, and Emergency Vehicles)
  • Mitchell Grade School
  • MUSC
  • Roper Hospital
  • Several Churches
  • South Carolina Department of Transportation
  • VA Hospital