by John Steinberger | August 21, 2019 2:45 pm
Charleston City Council wisely rejected an application request for a $32 million South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) grant for the Low Battery Wall project. First of all, SCTIB was created as a fund to build new roads. Secondly, the estimated $64 million project is nothing but an expensive park.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg states that the project is needed because of sea level rise. In fact, the rise began before 1900 and has only been an average of 3.15 millimeters per year (one foot per century). As Mayoral candidate Maurice Washington noted at a Dutch Dialogues drainage forum last month, raising the Low Battery Wall would only cause more flooding damage beyond its 0.8 mile boundary near the Coast Guard Station downtown.
Tecklenburg describes the Low Battery Wall as a “mobility” project. It would actually take away the parking spaces currently on-site and replace them with landscaping and a bicycle path. Charleston City Council has already set aside $23 million for the project. It would be appropriate for City Council to repurpose that money for vital drainage projects in the downtown hospital district, the Crosstown expressway and the Church Creek drainage basin in West Ashley. The Crosstown project is already $43 million over-budget.
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