SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - For many in Savannah, rain means street flooding, especially along Reynolds, Habersham and Abercorn streets in Ardsley Park.
A newly hired engineering firm means the city's moving forward with a major drainage project to help the problem.
The Savannah City Council hired Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. for $1,476,400.00 to design plans to upgrade the storm water system as part of the Casey South Drainage Improvements Phase II.
"The goal of Phase IIA of the Casey Drainage Improvement Project is to provide stormwater drainage system upgrades to accommodate a 100-year storm flood event in the area roughly bounded by 55th Street to the north, Harmon Drive to the east, 63rd Street to the south, and Abercorn Street to the west," according to a council agenda. "It will accomplish this through a series of stormwater lines that run north on Abercorn and Habersham streets, east on Columbus Drive, north on Atlantic Avenue, and east on 56th Street to tie in to the Harmon Drive box culvert installed during Phase I of the Case Drainage Improvement Project."
The project started in 2005, and the second phase was supposed to start in 2015. Phase II would replace over 100-year-old pipes and sewer lines with new, six-foot ones to allow for better drainage, but it never happened.
District 4 Alderman Julian Miller said both residents and the city council know the problems are there, and it's exciting to finally be moving forward.
"The infrastructure that we're trying to replace now are disasters waiting to happen. We have, some of these sewers are brick sewers, actually square brick sewers that were put in over 100 years ago. The bricks are great, but the mortar's eroding, so we have streets that are caving in. we have yards that are caving in. we have houses that have moisture problems, so it's exciting to be able to address those issues," Alderman Miller.
Hiring the firm is the first step toward getting the problems resolved, but Miller said it could be two-and-a-half years of engineering planning before shovels are in the ground.
Right now, Miller estimates the total project will cost about $30 million and hopes it can be completed in five years.