County hopes new project is beginning of solution to Hagley flooding

  • Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kimberly Duncan/For South Strand News Georgetown County Public Services director, Ray Funnye; Stantec engineer Brian Kaiser;

Development for Hagley Estates began in the early 1960s, which makes it among the older residential communities on the Waccamaw Neck.

Unlike more recent growth, this long timeline means Hagley has not benefitted from a master stormwater plan.

A new county project taking shape along Tyson and Hagley drives, a major Hagley corridor, is the beginning of what will be an ongoing effort to rectify that fact.

Georgetown County staff members – Ray Funnye, Public Services director, Hal Moon, senior engineer and Tracy Jones, Stormwater Division manager – joined Brian Kaiser from Stantec, an engineering firm, to present plans for a major stormwater upgrade in Hagley at a public meeting at Waccamaw High School on May 29.

The county reported Hagley has been a challenge for many years, and isolated fixes did little to alleviate a larger problem.

The Hagley watershed is comprised of roughly 800 acres, complicated by a golf course development.

Several years ago The Earthworks Group, a planning and design firm in Murrells Inlet, was commissioned to complete a master study of the entire area.

This was the first attempt to move beyond isolated fixes that were disconnected from a well-considered, long-term plan.

Out of that study, it was determined that water management issues along Tyson Drive through the five points intersection at Kings River Road, and down Hagley Drive to the Waccamaw River, needed to be a major focus of a long-term approach to stormwater management issues.

Ditches are too narrow, and golf course elevations complicate matters.

Accordingly, the corridor was prioritized for action with county staff emphasizing this is the beginning a larger effort to better manage other flooding/conveyance issues throughout Hagley Estates. Future design will necessarily take this new plan into account.

The current system of undersized ditches is sufficient for handling only 4.5 inches of rain in 24 hours. Since it is not uncommon for the area to receive considerably more, frequent flooding problems result.

The answer to the concern was either to create storage, i.e. retention ponds, or increase conveyance to move stormwater more quickly. Since no land was available for storage, improved conveyance was the solution.

A new system of outfalls and covered pipes will follow an existing drainage path on the south side of the road culminating around the 800 block. It will accommodate 7.7 inches of rain in 24 hours. This is considered a 25-year storm volume.

The engineers noted that while, in cases of hurricanes and other large storms, flooding may still occur, the new system will eliminate standing water more quickly.

Stantec is now working with the county on construction drawings for the project. Although the involved roadway is technically a Department of Transportation issue, the county has taken the initiative to tackle this upgrade with stormwater funds.

Kaiser described plans for catch basins and a covered square box culvert (pipe) that will range from 36 to 48 inches as it approaches the river. This was chosen instead of a 60-inch round pipe because square pipes can carry more volume and have a smaller footprint.

Although cost of materials will be a bit higher, construction will be easier and faster making for lower production expenses.

A fall start date is anticipated.

The most immediate challenge is obtaining temporary 10-foot construction easements from about three dozen property owners along Tyson and Hagley drives. County engineer Hal Moon is at work contacting individual owners so concerns about specific properties can be anticipated.

Owners’ existing irrigation systems and French drains will be taken into account on a case-by-case basis.

The county’s goal is for necessary construction – mailbox removal, driveway upgrades, digging for burying pipes, etc., will leave affected properties in a condition that is as good or better than before.

Whenever possible, construction will be handled after hours and should not affect any particular owner more than 24 hours.

Traffic control will be on hand to minimize issues rising from heavy equipment and lane blockage.

If you have questions or concerns, contact Tracy Jones at 843-545-3524.

If they have not already been contacted, property owners along Tyson Drive and Hagley Drive should also call.

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