Mayor Stephen Murray, State Rep. Shannon Erickson, Mayor Pro Tem Mike McFee, and City Councilmen Phil Cromer, Neil Lipsitz and Mitch Mitchell celebrate the completion of the project with a ribbon cutting on the Spanish Moss Trail on May 6, 2021. Task Force Chairman Neal Pugliese does the honors.
The Mossy Oaks neighborhood in the City of Beaufort is one of the most vulnerable to repeated flooding. In 2017, the Multijurisdictional Mossy Oaks Drainage Task Force was formed to address this issue. The area, comprising approximately 550 acres and several hundred homes, flooded following heavy rains, high tides, and storm surges. An engineering study identified factors such as inefficient drainage structures and poor drainage patterns. Other complicating issues included homes built on slabs, along with ditches overgrown with vegetation.
The engineering study, completed in the summer of 2018, divided the project area into Basin 1 (north side of neighborhood) and Basin 2 (south side) where water collected repeatedly due to misaligned drainage pipe elevations.
The construction phase of the Mossy Oaks projects began in July 2020 and was completed in April 2021. The total cost of the project was $8 million, with $1.5 million coming from two grants, $580,000 coming from partners on the project, and the balance of $5.9 million coming from bond proceeds. The project came in almost $500,000 under budget.