Founded in 1670, Charleston, SC is one of oldest cities in the nation. Since its inception, the city of Charleston has experienced difficulties with stormwater management. With rising tidal waters and stronger storms, stormwater management has only become more difficult. Tunnels and trenchless technology have roots in Charleston dating back to 1928 when a system of water supply tunnels was constructed to bring a new
water supply from the Edisto River and Foster Creek to the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant to supplement ground water sources. Today nearly 80 km (50 miles) of tunnels have been constructed or designed in and around Charleston for water, waste water and storm water conveyance.
The city of Charleston first utilized tunnels to address storm water in 1999 for their Meeting Street/Calhoun tunnel. The city selected tunneling to minimize utility impacts and public disruption. Two additional storm water tunnels have been completed since the Meeting Street/Calhoun tunnel. The Market Street Drainage Improvements Project tunnel was completed in 2013 and the final phase of the project is pending construction. The US17 Spring/Fishburne Drainage Improvements Project tunnel system was completed in summer 2020. Additional basins in the Charleston peninsula also have conceptual tunnel systems that may be implemented in the future.