Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


City of Charleston set to build $14M stormwater drainage tunnel 

High Water Street Flooding

Photo: Getty Images

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston says they are set to start building an underground stormwater drainage tunnel that will help address flooding in the medical district on the peninsula. 

The Medical District Drainage Tunnel Extension at Ehrhardt Street Project will cost just over $14 million to build and will serve multiple buildings in the district. The city will pay around $4 million for the project, with the rest of the funding coming from federal grants. 

Matthew Fountain, the city’s director of stormwater management, said once completed, the tunnel will be able to remove around three million gallons of stormwater during a heavy storm. 

Fountain added that the main goal for the project is to make sure ambulances can get to hospitals when it rains. 

“The medical district experiences some pretty severe flooding in Charleston,” Fountain said. “It’s obviously a major problem because the roadways flood, which prevents emergency vehicles from getting in and out of the hospitals. There’s a series of emergency room access points along the boundaries of this project, and then it also prevents doctors and patients from being able to move in and out of the hospital.” 

Officials said construction on the tunnel is expected to start in the next few months. 

They hope to finish building this tunnel and connecting it by the middle of next year. 

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

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