Charleston is facing a second year of uncertainty as a result of a question: Should it wall its downtown from storm surge and sea level rise?
The Army Corps of Engineers’ $1.1 billion plan would build a wall 8 miles around the Charleston peninsula. It is the most ambitious structure that could be used to combat climate change. It was unveiled for the first time in 2020. But, in 2021, more details have been provided, the expected cost has fallen, and it has become a priority for the Corps due to a favorable cost/benefit ratio.
As the plan became more concrete, the conflicts that were simmering under the surface during the initial stages of the proposal started to emerge fully.
The State Ports Authority declared that the plan was unworkable because it affects two shipping terminals on the Cooper River. This sent engineers back to the drawing boards for a different alignment.
Some residents of Black Rosemont were also worried about how the plan would be treated. There are concerns about displacement from the plan to raise homes there.
The January City Council vote will decide whether to proceed with a more detailed design and whether to commit to its 35% of the project costs.
Chloe Johnson can be reached at 843-735-99995. Follow her @_ChloeAJ.