From staff reports
The Municipal Association of South Carolina recently awarded the City of Beaufort a Municipal Achievement Award for its Mossy Oaks stormwater drainage project. The City won in the 10,001 – 20,000 population category. Twenty-four cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives for consideration in the annual awards.
Mossy Oaks Project Manager Neal Pugliese accepted the award in Charleston on July 16.
The Mossy Oaks neighborhood suffered from repeated flooding during heavy rains, king tides and storm surges. City officials identified it as the top priority for mitigation among its flood-prone areas.
The City created a multi-jurisdictional task force for the effort, including the Town of Port Royal, Beaufort County, state agencies, utilities, nonprofits, neighborhood groups and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Over several years, the City conducted an engineering study and identified funding, including $5.9 million from bonds, $1.5 million from grants and $580,000 from community partners.
The project installed improved drainage pipes at corrected elevations and tidal flap gates to control water flow into the marsh. After permitting and bidding, the construction took nine months — two months less than planned — and was completed in May 2021 under budget. The numerous partnerships involved in the effort allowed for utility collaboration, so that new water, sewer and electrical lines could be installed during construction. Ongoing outreach efforts and two-way communication with residents meant that those affected by construction were kept informed of the process.
Since completion of the project, Mossy Oaks has experienced no significant flooding, even during a storm event that dropped 7 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.
“Beaufort built an effective coalition of organizations and stakeholders to resolve a major infrastructure problem. In doing so, these partners have created an excellent model for future projects,” said Todd Glover, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. Information and a video about the project are available on the Association’s website www.masc.sc (keyword: Achievement Awards).
The Municipal Association of SC initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.