At tonight’s meeting of Charleston City Council, which will take place virtually at 5 p.m., the South Carolina Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers will present the city with the 2021 South Carolina Technical Merit Award for its work on the Low Battery Seawall Project.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said, “As we work to address flooding and drainage throughout the city, we are committed to finding and implementing innovative solutions that maximize the benefits to our citizens. That’s why I was so pleased to see the stormwater department’s hard work recognized in 2018 when our Forest Acres drainage improvement project was awarded South Carolina American Public Works Association Project of the Year and again today with this prestigious ASCE honor.”
Each year, the ASCE recognizes “an outstanding project or technical innovation toward the profession of Civil Engineering,” according to their website. Chris Mack, the President of the Eastern Branch of the ASCE, will attend tonight’s meeting to personally present the award. The presentation can be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxDws_o-1voXBNOAZ17gZxw.
In the announcement recognizing the City of Charleston, design firm Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, INC and Gulf Stream Construction, ASCE referred to the seawall project as “a showcase of collaboration, innovation and public stewardship.”
The project concept is to take the opportunity of reconstructing a failing seawall to build a linear park that protects against storms, is adapted for rising sea level, is accessible for all people and improves utilities and water quality along the project corridor.
Phase One of the Low Battery Seawall project was completed on time and under budget in January 2021. This phase included repairs of the seawall from Tradd Street to Ashley Avenue. A network of innovative “micropiles” was used to support the new wall and elevated promenade, which eliminated the need to pound massive steel piles into the earth.
The project also included the installation of larger storm drains, an additional outfall and four water quality structures that work together to significantly increase the drainage of Murray Boulevard, as well as provide better conveyance for the Ashley and Tradd drainage systems.
“Parklets” and redesigned intersections were incorporated to improve the visitor experience and introduce new pedestrian safety and accessibility features. Additionally, new and improved utilities were installed, stone edging was added along the length of the wall, new lights were added along the median, and new palm trees were planted.
Construction of Phase Two–between Ashley Boulevard and Council Street–began in February and is expected to take about one year to complete.