Cayce closes in on completion of years-long drainage project

Posted 3/22/23

Cayce says it has about three months left on a project to alleviate drainage issues in one of its central neighborhoods.

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Cayce closes in on completion of years-long drainage project


Cayce says it has about three months left on a project to alleviate drainage issues in one of its central neighborhoods.

The Cayce Avenues Drainage Project entered its final phase on Feb. 28, as roadway and drainage improvements are made along Axtell Drive, closing a portion of the thoroughfare between Knox Abbott Drive and Deliesseline Road through what is expected to be early June.

The city has been working to fix stormwater issues in the neighborhood — bordered by State Street, 12th Street, Knox Abbott Drive and the Congaree River — since early 2020, with Deputy City Manager Jim Crosland telling the Chronicle it was a problem Cayce very much needed to fix.

“At one point in time, if you went down State Street and Knox, you were standing in two to three foot of water,” Crosland said of what would happen during heavy downpours.

“Most of that flooding is residential,” Crosland said of the project’s impact to local citizens, explaining that the flooding was a result of out-of-date stormwater infrastructure and nearby development.

“There wasn't stormwater reviews or anything like that when you put in a parking lot,” he said. “So all that runoff created has to go somewhere. And some of this old infrastructure from the 60s through the Avenues, it wasn't updated — [no] new stormwater routes or new pipes or expansions or anything like that. So now we're trying to find those avenues where we can help them and the property values. If you have a ditch in the back of your house, that's property erosion over a few years, you know, that's that's something.”

Now, having pushed through what the deputy city manager described as COVID-19 and supply chain delays, Cayce is set to finish off its effort to alleviate these issues.

But while the timeline has shifted some, the budget has not. The city is still funding the project through a $750,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation, which it has yet to exhaust, Crosland said.

The first phase of the project, which installed larger-diameter stormwater lines and large headwalls along Blake Drive, took over a year due to COVID’s impact on the project, as well as the discovery of a large amount of granite rock and weather delays.

The second phase comprised improvements along Deliesseline Road. This work took about nine months to complete, due to crews coming across “a lot more rock and a record amount of rainfall in the last quarter,” Crosland said.

Now, the city turns to the final phase of improvements along Axtell Drive, where upgrades include the installation of a headwall that was set to be delivered this week. Crews started this last frame of work when they finally found a window dry enough to put down some asphalt, the deputy city manager explained.

As the city entered the final phase, Cayce Public Information Officer Ashley Hunter said it wanted to make sure the public is well-informed about the project and the last round of detours, launching a project Facebook page to communicate updates.

The recommended detour route around Axtell Drive takes drivers along Indigo Avenue, State Street and Knox Abbott Drive/U.S. Highway 321. Guignard Park will remain open while the work is completed.

Avenues resident Michael Norris told the Chronicle he appreciates the city for doing what he sees as needed work — and for doing it with minimal aggravation to the neighborhood and clear communication.

“I knew the benefit of it because there’s drainage issues everywhere,” he said

So while one phase of the project shunted traffic by his house, he knew it was worth it.

“We just kind of put up with the traffic because that was something that we knew we had to do to get the other part fixed,” he said.

cayce avenues, columbia drainage, lexington county road work


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