South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) – The SCDOT has begun accepting bids for the repairs to the broken section of Ramblin Road in South Congaree. They notified all parties interested in this project by e-mail and also posted it on their website on Wednesday evening.
According to the DOT, HDR, the engineering firm they hired to inspect a number of flood damaged dams and make recommendations on their statuses, completed their review and provided has a final report to SCDOT. As was said several months ago, the report indicates that damage was primarily the roadway embankment constructed on the downstream side of the dam.
SCDOT has now finalized a design of the roadway repairs. These repairs will include repairing the damaged drainage pipe located on SCDOT’s easement, constructing drainage structures, and replacing and stabilizing the embankment. During this process, the dam owner has agreed to lower the pond’s water level for the period of construction.
The completed design plans have now been provided to contractors to bid the work. The DOT officials say they anticipate that a contract will be awarded in early April. From that point forward, the work will be ongoing and should be completed during the summer of 2017.
HDR’s review did provide some recommendations for the private dam owner on Ramblin Road, but roadway repairs can be completed without any additional action by the dam owner.
Ramblin Road has been closed since October of 2015 when the downstream embankment washed away during the historic flooding that year. It had become a major point of contention for local residents and commuters who dealt with the daily inconvenience of a lengthy detour.
Some say it also caused an increase in traffic accidents at Princeton Road and Edmund Highway, a key intersection of the detour. Fire and other emergency equipment and responders also had to go around the closed portion of the road. This sometime caused delays in their responses.
In the winter of 2016, SC State Senator Katrina Shealy and SC House member Mac Toole organized a meeting at a local school where community members vented their anger and displeasure at the delays in the repairs. The DOT officials at that meeting did their best to explain the delays and the long, arduous process of inspecting and repairing the broken dam at the root of the problem.
After that meeting, the DOT seemed to move ahead with purpose, and made frequent updates to those who had attended the meetings and requested them by e-mail.