[image-1] The South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank approved $21.5 million in funding Tuesday for the Septima Clark Drainage and Transportation Improvement Project. The funds will go to Phase 5 of the project, which calls for a new pump station in between the Ashley River bridges.

The project, which began in 2011, plans to improve mobility and efficiency by reducing the severity of flooding problems on and near the thoroughfare, also called the Crosstown Expressway. Cars traveling on Septima Clark Parkway, which connects West Ashley, downtown and Mount Pleasant, frequently faces slow downs during heavy rainfall due to flooding. The project area, according to the city, accounts for 20 percent of downtown Charleston.

Phase 5, the final segment of the project, requires a new pump station to be constructed. The city predicts the pump station will make the Crosstown traversable in “all but the very worst storm events.” The pump station will not be able to stop flooding during tropical storm events with storm surges that inundate the city. This phase and the entire project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Phases 3 and 4 of the endeavor are underway, with Phase 3 expected to be completed in July and Phase 4 estimated for completion in 2022.

The city’s application for the Low Battery Sea Wall did not receive funding from Infrastructure Bank during this round, but is still eligible later this year. The application can be resubmitted in 2021.