CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg reflected on a range of topics and discussed the city’s plans for 2023 during a Tuesday night State of the City address.

“My fellow citizens,” Tecklenburg said. “What a difference a year makes…”

“In 2022,” he said, “the people of Charleston proved the naysayers wrong once again. You showed that together, we can solve problems and make our great city even better.”

The mayor touched on work being done to mitigate flooding, improvements to public safety, increased affordable housing, and new livability and traffic developments. He says he has high hopes for what the city will accomplish this year.

“I’m pleased to report that the state of our city heading into 2023 is confident,” Tecklenburg said, “thankful and optimistic.”

Tecklenburg says one of his top priorities is continuing to alleviate flooding with more than 30 flood relief projects moving forward throughout the city.

“We’re breaking ground this month on Phase 2 of the award-winning Forest Acres Drainage Project in West Ashley,” he said, “and opening Phase 4 of the Spring-Fishburne Project on the Peninsula.”

With violent crime down 10 percent in 2022, the mayor says the city is making a major investment in public safety to try to ensure that number continues to decrease.

“We funded,” Tecklenburg said, “not defunded, the police and firefighters.”

The mayor reports that 800 new or refurbished affordable housing developments have been constructed since 2016, with 500 more scheduled to be built.

“These efforts represent nothing more or less than the largest,” Tecklenburg said, “most ambitious affordable and workforce housing initiative in our city’s history.”

Tecklenburg’s last point highlighted work being done, as well as prospective projects, meant to reduce traffic.

“Tonight,” he said, “city council and I will vote again to support the completion of I-526 to finally bring real traffic relief to our citizens on Johns Island and West Ashley.”

The vote to continue to support the completion of I-526 was approved by city council.