Battery repairs, construction set to begin in October

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The City of Charleston is set to begin a multi-phase project that will repair the city's deteriorating seawall.

According to a release from the city, the first phase of construction will focus on the 120-foot portion of the High Battery where it connects to the Low Battery along Murray Boulevard.

The work is being done by Crowder Construction Company and has been approved by the State Historic Preservation Office. In a Sept. 10 council meeting, members approved the $2.6 million renovations.

Crews will install a temporary cofferdam and dewatering system to allow work during all tidal cycles, removal of the existing concrete seawall and timber platform, testing and removal of timber piles, and install new composite piles that will stand up to the elements. One of the more notable changes will be a ramp leading up to the platform that will replace the existing steps to accommodate people with disabilities or with strollers.

There will be lane closures around work areas, officials said.

"The first phase of the Battery Reconstruction Project is a very important and complex project. This area of the seawall was originally built in 1919 on wood pilings and has a wooden deck, which over the years, have been exposed to the elements, so it is essential that we update the support system and foundation. Just as important, this construction provides us with an opportunity to make a ramp to connect Low Battery to High Battery, which will allow more of our residents and visitors greater access to the water's edge," Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said.

Officials estimate the work will take nine month to complete.

Officials said design work has already begun on Phase 2 that will include renovating the High Battery from the turn to its end in the north. The work is expected to be mostly cosmetic and will begin when the first phase is finished.