CHARLESTON, S.C. --
On Nov. 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The Act provides $17.1 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Civil Works programs, projects and activities that will help the nation address current and future water resources infrastructure needs.
On Jan. 18, 2022, the USACE submitted a detailed spending plan to Congress addressing how the funds will be executed. The spending plan submitted allocates approximately $10.5 billion for the 2022 fiscal year. The remaining funds do not expire and will be allocated in future fiscal year spending plans. The IIJA spending plan supports the administration’s goals of expanded access to America’s ports through dredging, building resilience in the face of global climate change, benefitting economically disadvantaged communities and regions, and advancing environmental justice.
Per the submitted spending plan for the IIJA, the South Atlantic Division, USACE, will receive $9 billion, which will be distributed to each district accordingly. A large portion of the funding for the South Atlantic Division will go to the two largest districts, Jacksonville and Mobile.
The Charleston District received just over $21 million for use in the 2022 fiscal year on the following projects:
-$12.6 million will be used for maintenance of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway’s upland placement areas. The Charleston District will raise perimeter walls of placement areas and will investigate opportunities to increase their capacity, which will allow for future maintenance dredging along the AIWW.
-$6.1 million will go towards dredging of the Murrell’s Inlet federal channel, which is used by vessels of various types including the commercial fishing industry. This work will incorporate the beneficial use of the dredged material as the placement area for the material will be the southern tip of Garden City Beach. Completion of this project is win-win for the community, providing for safe navigation at Murrells Inlet while also providing for storm damage risk reduction benefits from the placement of beach quality dredged material at Garden City Beach.
-$2 million will be used to dredge Town Creek, south of McClellanville. The district will likely utilize a USACE-owned and operated dredge based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. Upon completion, shrimp boat captains and other ocean-bound vessels will benefit from the dredged entrance channel that is impacted by shifting material within the dynamic coastal environment.
-$99,000 will allow SAC to continue the preconstruction, engineering, and design phase for the restoration of approximately 290 acres of cypress-tupelo bottomland hardwood forest in Polk Swamp, located in Dorchester County. When implemented, the project will restore water flow and connectivity, remove invasive species, and reforest with keystone species.
-$456,000 for the Cooper River Rediversion Project in St. Stephen. Funds will be used to complete a multitude of small projects needed at the dam which powers over 40,000 homes. Additional maintenance will also be done on the fish lock which allows over 750,000 fish to reach their spawning grounds upstream every year.
“The IIJA will provide funding for a variety of projects overseen by the district,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Johannes, commander, Charleston District. “We are excited to work with these communities and our partners to deliver engineering solutions that address the current and future water resource infrastructure needs of South Carolina.”