North Charleston breaks ground on new $42 million Public Works facility by North Charleston

City of North Charleston officials broke ground today on a new $42 million Public Works complex off of Vector Avenue. The new complex features a state of the art design on a 38 acre multi-building campus to streamline Public Works functions and places the facility centrally within the City.

When the Charleston Naval Base closed, the City acquired off-base property at the intersection of Remount Road and I-26, where for years, a municipal court annex and several city departments operated. Additional property was later transferred to the City by the US Air Force. After the completion of the new city hall in the fall of 2009, all city departments were consolidated, except for public works. The consolidation allowed for the demolition of the former annex, freeing a large tract of land for a new public works facility.

On June 14, 2012, City Council approved the bond issuance to fund the construction of the new public works facility. With design, planning, and site preparation completed, building construction is set to begin.

The Public Works complex will consist of a multi-building campus, plus sheds for equipment and storage, spread across 38 acres. Its centralized location allows access to major thoroughfares and I-26. Construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-2015.

Public Works is currently located at 1023 Aragon Street in a facility built in late 1975. At the time of construction, it was located very near the center of the City with room for expansion. After nearly forty years of growth, both in population and geographic area, the City has outgrown the now small, crowded facility.

“With our population now over 100,000, the replacement of our public works facility is long overdue,” said Mayor Keith Summey. “The new complex positions North Charleston for the next fifty years of growth, and ensures that citizens of North Charleston receive efficient and cost effective services.”

“North Charleston’s Public Works Department has come a long way since its formation in the early 1970s,” said Public Works Director Jim Hutto. “Starting with a used dump truck and a two man crew to fill pot holes, Public Works now employs nearly 200 and oversees a wide variety of services for the citizens and businesses of North Charleston. The new facility is ideally positioned to provide our employees the appropriate space to serve the people of our city.”

North Charleston’s Public Works Department is responsible for engineering, street and sidewalk maintenance, stormwater maintenance and utility, solid waste disposal, traffic signs and signals, landscaping, city facilities maintenance and repair, fleet maintenance, and construction contract administration.

Photo by Ryan Johnson
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