Fixing damage to the Riverwalk in Cayce and West Columbia from last fall’s flood is going to cost $2.8 million.
But officials expect to have the repairs to the Midlands’ recreational jewel finished by summer.
The repairs come after erosion and debris weakened bridges and the riverfront path in the neighboring cities following record rain that caused the Congaree River to rise to near-record levels.
Much of the seven-mile path is suitable for walking, jogging, bicycling and enjoying nature, but sections deemed unstable remain closed.
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“There was fairly significant damage,” Lexington County Councilman Todd Cullum of Cayce said. “It’s important to fix a system that is shaping up to be a prize.”
Both cities received federal disaster aid to help pay for the job, predicted to cost $1.3 million in West Columbia and $1.5 million in Cayce.
The seven-mile trail on the west side of the river was built to hold up during sporadic inundation that proved inadequate in the 2015 fall deluge.
“It’s one of those unknowns you can’t anticipate,” West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton said. “We thought it was something it was designed to withstand.”
Many features on the 15-year-old path will be strengthened to resist damage in major floods – and they’ll be restored the way they were.
The work is important, officials said.
“Parts of it were dramatically weakened,” said Mike Dawson, executive director of the River Alliance. “It is a rare occurrence requiring something a little more complex, not everyday maintenance.”
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483