Aug. 27, 2020
Your weekly update on what’s happened in the past week and what you can expect next week. Please see the maps below.
It has been another very busy and productive week in Basin I (Duck Pond area). The infamous “Jane Way Canal” continues to be graded at the correct level, which has led to a large amount of accumulated silt being removed. This silt was preventing stormwater from draining. Removing the silt is tough and dirty work but we’re making progress. Additionally, trees and other vegetation that were impeding drainage have been removed.
As of today, the project has taken possession of three tidal flap gates and about 500 feet of sheet pile wall. Finally, BJWSA and Dominion Energy have been busy relocating utility service to accommodate the improved drainage pipes. BJWSA and Dominion Energy have been terrific partners and we are grateful for their responsiveness and sense of urgency.
Next week, work will continue to be done on West Royal Oaks, Coates, Jane Way, and First Boulevard. This will include gas and water relocations, pipe installation, ditch grading, tree removal, and silt removal. Those who will be affected by utility interruptions have been or are in the process of being notified. Finally, the Spanish Moss Trail will be closed on Aug. 31 between Rodgers and Broome as the sheet pile wall is installed. Many thanks to the Friends of the Spanish Moss Trail for attending construction meetings and placing detour signs alerting trail patrons to the upcoming construction work.
We’re moving quickly on utility relocations and the subsequent drainage improvements given our history with hurricanes and other extreme weather events. The utility relocations are critical to the installation of new and improved drainage pipes. This means that, as previously mentioned, there will be limited utility service interruptions for residents on West Royal Oaks, Coates and Battery Creek Road in the next two to three weeks. The interruptions will last about four to six hours and, barring emergencies, will occur sometime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the workweek.
When interruptions are scheduled, the project will notify affected residents using our various communication methods. We appreciate our residents’ patience and their understanding of why these interruptions are necessary.
In Basin II (vicinity of Southside Park) work will be done in three major areas. First, silt fencing will be installed to ensure construction byproducts do not affect the environment. Work will be done to determine all utility conflicts particularly in the area surrounding Southside Boulevard and Battery Creek Road. Finally, a tree survey will be done to identify all trees and vegetation that impede effective drainage. Every possible effort will be made to retain as many trees as possible so long as they do not interfere with drainage.
Understanding sheet piles and flap gates
We’ve gotten many questions about the sheet pile wall and tidal flap gates. The sheet pile wall consists of steel sheets that are 30 feet high and about two feet wide. These sheets will be driven into the west side of Spanish Moss Trail along Battery Creek. One sheet pile wall will be installed in Basin I between Rodgers and Broome and the second wall will be installed in Basin II between Brotherhood and Riverside. The wall between Rodgers and Broome will be about 1,200 feet long and the one between Brotherhood and Riverside will be about 800 feet wide.
The wall will perform two functions. First, the sheets reinforce the Spanish Moss Trail and prevent water from seeping under the trail into the residential areas of Mossy Oaks. The tidal flap gates are very large stormwater boxes that are installed where the current drainpipes connect from the residential ponds to Battery Creek under the Spanish Moss Trail. These gates are designed to close in anticipation of high tides which will prevent or significantly reduce flooding in Mossy Oaks. The sheet pile wall and the flap gates will work together to prevent flooding.
There is a tremendous amount of construction traffic throughout the entire Mossy Oaks area. As promised, construction traffic has increased and will continue at this high level through November. Please continue to exercise caution when driving, riding bikes or simply walking. Again, I, the work crews, and their families thank you in advance for maintaining a very safe environment for all of us.
Finally, please encourage all those affected or interested in the Mossy Oaks Project to register with the “Notify Me” application found on the City of Beaufort website (https://www.cityofbeaufort.org/list.aspx) and subscribe to the Mossy Oaks Stormwater Project updates. This is the mechanism to receive near real-time updates on the project to include urgent issues like unscheduled road closures or utility interruptions.
We remain on track for an on-time and on-budget delivery of this project in the December-January timeframe.
As always, I’m available anytime to address comments, concerns or questions. Have a safe and enjoyable week. We are making progress!
Neal Pugliese, Col USMC (Ret)
Mossy Oaks Multijurisdictional Drainage Task Force|