Franklin to close downtown for drainage project

Map courtesy DOT
Map courtesy DOT

While it may cause a few weeks of headaches, officials hope a drainage project in Whiteville will have longterm benefits.

South Franklin Street between Madison and Caldis will be closed May 17-28 to allow crews to replace a drainage pipe under the roadway. The Department of Transportation said Wednesday that the $120,000 project should improve outflow of stormwater from downtown.

The area is set for a major stormwater renovation by the city in the coming months. The Franklin Street project was needed to allow stormwater an outlet from downtown to Soles Swamp, to relieve pressure on the improvements slated for upstream.

Traffic will be detoured on Main and South Lee streets, which will lead to some delays for motorists.

DOT said improvements will also be made to ditches along Franklin Street in the immediate area, and road repairs at the intersection of Madison, Lee, and Franklin will cause brief delays.

The section of Franklin where the pipe is being replaced had water as deep as six feet during Hurricane Florence,  after torrential rains overwhelmed the drainage system. The drainage project will also provide some relief for the Duke Progress power substation located in Soles Swamp on the downstream side of Franklin.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at