Today the Corps of Engineers released the findings and conclusion of its study of the retaining wall through the downtown section of the Savannah River between Augusta, GA and North Augusta, SC.The conclusion of the Corps’ study determined the best option is to completely remove the 1.5 mile long wall.
The retaining wall is long overdue for removal. The wall has ripped boat motors from boats, caused damage to property, and has even claimed a number of lives throughout the years.
Here’s how the dam’s removal will affect the downtown section of the Savannah River:
The wall’s removal will make our river more navigable, safer, and more accessible. Removal of this wall will drastically reduce the sandbar affecting SC residents in lower water and will increase flow for residents on both sides of the Savannah River. The project is projected to cost $5.42 million.
Today’s release of the study opens a 30-day time-clock for public comment. You can find the study release here: https://www.sas.usace.army.mil/About/Divisions-and-Offices/Planning-Division/Plans-and-Reports/
Here’s what we’re asking you to do:
The retaining wall was constructed in the early 1900’s to enhance the Port of Augusta. It starts a few hundred yards above the railroad bridge near the SC side and continues 1.5 miles, ending below the River North Subdivision boat ramp.
The goal was to deepen water and focus the current on the Augusta side of the river for port traffic, which has not been part of our economy for decades. The project was successful, but effectively changed the course of the river, creating a barrier for sediment and dirt, as well as causing sandbars and weed patches to collect on the South Carolina side of the wall.
During last year’s drawdown, those sandbars were exposed, along with the pylons and materials of the wall itself. It brought the wall’s influence to the attention of the Corps of Engineers and showed that the wall was responsible for a number of issues and was a hazard to people using the river.
We’ve been aware of the wall and it has been part of our strategic plan for a couple of years. We are proud to bring you this news and to have played our role in elevating this project’s importance. We happily support this project that will make your river safer and more accessible.