City of Charleston leaders discuss next steps in sea wall project

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston City leaders are moving into the next steps in an over-arching flood risk project.

The $1.1 billion dollar Coastal Risk Management Project would build a sea wall around the peninsula to help flooding and storm surge. City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says he is ready to get the groundwork running on the design phase of the project.

“It incorporates protection not just against a storm surge, but also against tidal flooding and drainage concerns when it rains,” says Mayor Tecklenburg.

The Army Corps of Engineers and city leaders have been drafting plans that look at the impacts from flooding, storms and hurricanes on the peninsula. Through that study, officials have suggested a 12 foot storm surge wall to help storm impacts for homes and businesses.

“We have to make it navigable and accessible to people. This structure will be there, but most of the time it won’t be working. It will be open and people will be able to navigate back and forth and forget about it,” says Dale Morris, the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Charleston.

Morris says making sure the sea wall is aesthetically pleasing, is what city leaders are pushing for in the next steps with the design phase.

“One important thing is that Corps has already agreed to start the design phase with their experts to add more nature based features on to this structure,” says Morris.

Mayor Tecklenburg says protecting the flooding and beauty of the city, is crucial while building this sea wall.

“We need to protect our city, but charleston is such a beautiful place, such a historic beautiful place. We are very mindful of the design and aesthetics of what things look like,” says Mayor Tecklenburg.

City leaders anticipate construction on the sea wall to start by 2027.