Charleston hopes for state grant to aid in Low Battery project

We Stand For Progress Reports Sep. 25, 2019, 2:46pm

Charleston’s Low Battery is an important seawall along a major artery for residents and a recreation mecca for residents and tourists alike. It is also a century old. So the city is embarking on a $64 million improvement project, and would like the State Infrastructure Bank to fund half of that.

“The Low Battery project is an important piece of infrastructure for the whole peninsula that will help us to defend against increasing tides and tidal flooding, so we’re thrilled about the project receiving authorization and happy to move forward,” Jacob Lindsey, city planner for the City of Charleston, told the Palmetto Business Daily in a telephone interview.

“The battery was built nearly 100 years ago, and it’s in need of repair and reconstruction,” Lindsey said.

The seawall itself will be raised from 2 ½ to 3 feet higher.

Not just the seawall, however, but the whole of Murray Boulevard as well as the utilities beneath it are being renovated, Lindsey said. The project will take place in phases, and while through traffic will be stopped during some construction phases, residents will not be displaced and will be able to access their homes.

“Murray Boulevard is very important for not only residents but also visitors,” Lindsey said. “It's a scenic place, it forms a part of the waterfront and it's a place that both residents and visitors enjoy.

“It's really part of the iconic experience of being in Charleston, walking on the Low Battery and walking on Murray Boulevard.”

The city has been putting aside money for the project for years (it now has $23 million to invest), but the planning and approval process was not speedy.

“This is a fairly significant and complex infrastructure project that required initial study, conceptual design and final design in order to determine the ideal configuration for the sea wall and the street," Lindsey said. "That's taken some time to do, and it's been time well spent because we feel like the final design is the right one."

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