Pointing to repairs on a collapsed stormwater tunnel that are expected to take several days, Charleston officials said that portions of King Street — between Calhoun and George streets — will be closed between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. beginning Monday.
Motorists who typically use downtown portions of King Street during their morning commutes should anticipate having to take alternative routes.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, and will work to make these repairs and safely reopen the street as quickly as possible,” Matthew Fountain, Charleston director of stormwater, said in a statement.
City officials said that the repair work may take as long as six days, which including the time it will take to resurface the roadway following the repairs. B&C Land Development will oversee the work site.
Construction on the underground tidal drains began in the late 1850s in response to a local epidemic of yellow fever which historians say was partially brought on by widespread unsanitary conditions in Charleston.
Below the surface, wooden planks served as the foundation above the water table. Then, tunnels with arched ceilings — which were built with brick — were erected. The streets were then paved over.
Limited portions of the centuries-old drainage system still run today and help to carry away rainfall in parts of Charleston.