CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Charleston announced on Monday that it will receive $4.6 million in funding for the Barberry Woods Drainage Improvement Project from the South Carolina Office of Resilience. 

The grant is a part of the State’s larger American Rescue Plan Act Stormwater Infrastructure program

According to the City of Charleston, the funding will be used to improve the stormwater infrastructure in Barberry Woods on Johns Island. 

Since 2015, the Barberry Woods neighborhood and surrounding developments have experienced flooding during significant rainfall.

Officials say the current stormwater system is unable to handle the runoff. 

In 2021, the Barberry Woods Project was identified as one of three critical drainage improvement projects for the Johns Island Restoration Plan to Improve Flood Resiliency, which was partially funded by a National Coastal Resiliency Fund grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 

“The Barberry Woods Drainage Improvement Project is a model for what’s possible in the new, Dutch Dialogues-inspired era of flood resilience here in the city,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. 

“This innovative project is a critical part of our anti-flooding work on John Island, and I want to thank the state for their generous support of this effort.” 

City officials say the project will apply the principles of the Dutch Dialogues by conserving natural assets, respecting the existing elevations, and improving the overall drainage of the area and the community. 

The city has also acquired a $3 million low-interest loan from the South Carolina Office of Resiliency for project construction and received $100,000 in funding from the South Carolina Conservation Bank to buy land needed for the project. 

The improvements will feature an open-air stream and braided channel designed to slow, store, and release floodwaters to mitigate downstream flooding. 

As part of the project, the city will buy what is currently zoned as buildable land and incorporate the property into the natural drainage system.

“So, we’re having to buy some properties to make this happen and in addition, as we try to do, make a park-like feature whenever we make these drainage improvements. There will be a nature walk through the property, alongside where the water will have a place to be stored,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.

The mayor told News 2, he expects the project to take about two years to complete. He said the total cost is around $10 million.

“When projects are so expensive, we have to look around at many sources to try to put the funding together. And this $4.6 million grant is literally half of the cost of the project. It allows it to be able to really move forward, we’re excited about it,” Mayor Tecklenburg said.

For a deeper look at the Barberry Woods Drainage Improvement Project click here.