The Septima Clark Parkway, which runs across the Charleston peninsula is known to severely flood during a summer thunderstorm. City officials say the drainage design work was not done properly when the highway was built in the 1960s.
Fixing the problem has been a priority for Charleston mayor Joe Riley and other city leaders in recent years. The project was able to get a big bump with Thursday’s announcement from the State Infrastructure Bank board that it would secure the $88 million loan. The city requested the loan in October.
“When completed, local residents and homeowners, churches, our very important hospitals and schools, and motorists who travel the roadway will find safe and dry passage across this part of the peninsula,” Riley said in a statement Thursday, “And our neighborhoods here will no longer flood.”
The SIB payments come in addition to $30 million in federal and state transportation grants. Riley said the city has already set aside $22 million. He said Charleston would try to bear the rest of the costs with federal help. The overall project is estimated to cost $154 million.
The bank will begin making the payments to the city in 2017. It was part of $132 million approved by the Infrastructure Bank board Thursday. The board also set aside:
–$25 million to widen a portion of S.C. 170, known as Okatie Highway, near Sun City Hilton Head.
–$13 million for Dorchester County to widen S.C. 165 from Cooks Crossroads to Ashley Ridge High School. An additional $6 million for improvements on U.S. 78 was also included as part of the request.