State transportation officials say they have signed a contract to rebuild the last major highway closed from the 2015 record floods.
U.S. Highway 21 near Lake Elizabeth north of Columbia has been closed ever since floodwaters along the Crane Creek watershed caused the lake’s dam to fail in October 2015. The dam’s failure washed away part of the roadway next to it. The state Department of Transportation had said it would not repair the road until it knew if the lake’s residents would rebuild the dam.
The Lake Elizabeth homeowner’s association finally decided to abandon the dam due to the cost of rebuilding. U.S. Highway 21 is a primary route into Columbia for residents who live south of Blythewood.
“This is good news the community of Blythewood and we look forward to the end result of this process,” Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said in a release. “We would like to thank the public for being patient while this matter was resolved and our agency is now able to move forward with the repairs.”
The repairs will cost $2 million, which Hall said was higher than normal because it also includes the restoration of Crane Creek. Eagle Construction Company of Newberry won the state contract to build the new roadway.