$100 million in funding secured for Columbia, SC canal

Repairs to canal caused damage caused by the 2015 flood

Columbia Canal busted

Damage from the 2015 can still be seen at the canal in Riverfront Park.

Photo by City of Columbia Water

The City of Columbia Water has secured around $100 million in funding from several sources to repair 60 ft of the Columbia canal damaged in the historic 2015 flood that dropped 20 inches of rain in a five-day period.

Assistant City Manager for Columbia Water Clint Shealy said that Columbia can “unleash the design team” once the environmental review permits are complete.

While work is currently in the permitting stage — which is expected to be complete this month — bidding for the repair process will begin early next year. Expectations are that all repairs will be complete by 2025.

Repairs will come in several steps and include funding from a variety of sources to complete the repair project. Here’s what Soda Citizens can expect with repairs to the system that serves 200,000 customers from the Columbia Canal treatment plant:

Scope of the work

Step one will be repairing the embankment along the walking trail at the Riverfront Park and behind the SC State Museum.

  • $42 million in funding is provided through FEMA.

Step two will be repairing the historic headgates to full operation, and upgrading + returning the hydroelectric plant to operational status.

  • $8 million to repair the headgates will come from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Step three is to complete an alternative intake on the Broad River to ensure water supply resilience.

  • $45 million will be required to complete the alternative intake with 75% coming from the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) + 25% coming from ratepayers.

Riverfront Park is one of the Soda City’s most popular destinations known for its picturesque location at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda Rivers and its walking trails. Read more about the history of Columbia’s drinking water.

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