This calls for a celebration

3 mins read

Ceremony marks completion of Mossy Oaks stormwater project

From staff reports

When you set out to do something big and difficult, and not only do you finish, but you finish on time and under budget, that’s cause for celebration.

That’s just what the City of Beaufort and other entities involved in the Mossy Oaks Stormwater Project are doing Thursday, May 6.

A ribbon-cutting will be held at 10 a.m. to celebrate the completion of the project. The ceremony will be held at the Spanish Moss Trail where it crosses Rodgers Drive.

“Completing this project is a great accomplishment,” Beaufort Mayor Stephen Murray said in a news release. “This stormwater project is already providing relief for homeowners in Mossy Oaks, who are seeing much less flooding impacting their yards and homes during heavy storms and king tides. It’s a great tribute to all the partners who worked together so effectively to make this happen.”

The stormwater project kicked off in 2017, when the Multijurisdictional Mossy Oaks Drainage Task Force was formed to address the issue of repeated flooding in the Mossy Oaks neighborhood. The area, comprising approximately 550 acres, was subject to flooding during heavy rains, king tides and storm surges.

An engineering study identified factors such as inefficient drainage structures and poor drainage patterns. Other complicating issues included homes built on slabs, along with ditches overgrown with vegetation.

Construction on the project began last August, following a long permitting process involving federal and state agencies. The construction involved extensive work in two areas: Basin 1 – the northside of the neighborhood, and Basin 2, the south side. Truluck Construction Inc. and Gulfstream Construction Co. were awarded separate contracts for the work.

The work involved installing large drainage pipes at correct elevations throughout the neighborhood to better direct drainage, and the installation of two tidal flap gates on Battery Creek along the Spanish Moss Trail to control the flow of water into and out of the marsh during heavy rains.

The total cost of the project is $8 million, with $1.5 million coming from two grants, $580,000 coming from partners on the project, and the balance of $5.9 million coming from bond proceeds. The project came in almost $500,000 under budget, thanks to partnerships and the efficient and prudent management of the project, Beaufort Finance Director Kathy Todd said.

Besides the City of Beaufort, partners on the project included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the South Carolina departments of Commerce, Transportation, and Health & Environmental Control; Beaufort County; the Town of Port Royal; Beaufort Jasper Water & Sewer Authority; Dominion Energy, the Coastal Conservation League, and the Low Country Council of Governments.

The public in invited to attend the ceremony, although there is limited parking.

Above: New large pipes underneath the Spanish Moss Trail add tremendous drainage capacity during storms and heavy rains. Submitted photo.

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