Drainage work on Crosstown Expressway starts Monday; expect road closures

Motorists drive through a flooded section of the Crosstown Expressway in 2011, during the first phase of a drainage improvement project there.

On Monday some time after 9 a.m., two months of road closures and $23.5 million in construction work will begin on the Charleston peninsula, aimed at addressing the severe flooding that regularly stalls traffic on the Septima Clark Parkway.

It’s the next phase, but not the final one, of a $154 million drainage improvement and beautification project on the Crosstown Expressway that began several years ago.

The project will close the Sheppard Street off-ramp from the expressway to Rutledge Avenue, as well as that section of Sheppard Street, so that a drainage shaft can be drilled there.

Also, the intersection of President and Fishburne streets will be closed for utility work associated with the project. All of the closures are expected to last about two months.

The work will include installing 12,000 feet of pipe, up to 54 inches in diameter, and creating 8-foot wide, 125-foot deep shafts that will eventually connect to a massive pumping station that will be constructed along the Ashley River. A similar shaft-tunnel-pump system was built on the Cooper River to address flooding at Calhoun and East Bay streets.

The latest round of work will also include hundreds of new stormwater management structures, cleaning of existing pipe, and “extensive landscaping of the area between Spring and Cannon Streets,” according to the city.