Posted By Alan Donald @ Apr 1st 2024 3:30pm In: Charleston

Charleston Waterways

This month, we focus on local news relating to our waterfront and waterways. Across Greater Charleston - from our barrier islands to Charleston Harbor as well as along and over our rivers - these areas are abuzz with new developments big and small, in planning and underway! Here are some on our radar.

On the Isle of Palms, a small waterfront park along the Intracoastal Waterway is close to completion near the marina. It will consist of a boardwalk, a public dock with kayak launch, kayak storage, green space, seating and parking for golf carts and bicycles. Another park is planned for an undeveloped, long and narrow 24-acre tract of land along the Stono River on James Island. Known as the Brandham Property, it was purchased by the Open Space Institute, using greenbelt funds and state and federal grants, with plans to transfer it to Charleston County Parks.

Along Charleston Harbor near Charleston’s Historic District, the 65-acre Union Pier Site will soon be sold by the SC Ports Authority to local billionaire businessman Ben Navarro who will work with the City and community to prepare a redevelopment plan. In turn, the funds from this sale will help SC Ports expand its port capacity farther up the Cooper River, including its planned purchase of the 280-acre former WestRock paper mill site adjoining its North Charleston Terminal. Both state and federal governments are doing their bit to support this expansion. The SC Department of Transportation recently completed an environmental impact study of the I-526 Lowcountry Corridor widening project and intends to replace the Don Holt Bridge that links North Charleston and Mount Pleasant with a higher and wider span that would remove height constraints for larger vessels, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a feasibility study to deepen this segment of the river to a 52-foot depth

At least four other major urban redevelopment plans are also envisaged for sites along the Cooper and Ashley rivers. They are Laurel Island and Magnolia in Charleston and Navy Yard Charleston and Battery Park in North Charleston. Each faces challenges and long timelines.

We'd love to hear of others that you know about. Please email Alan at

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