Colonial Lake to receive modern upgrade

Colonial Lake is scheduled for some major updates, including a water filtration system, more trees and better lighting at night. (Photo courtesy of DesignWorks LLC)

Colonial Lake is scheduled for some major updates, including a water filtration system, more trees and better lighting at night. (Photo courtesy of DesignWorks LLC)

Students who love running the loop around Colonial Lake, located at the corner of Broad Street and Rutledge Avenue, are in for a treat. The City of Charleston, Historic Charleston Foundation and Charleston Parks Conservancy are working together to update Colonial Lake Park, to be completed by the summer of 2015.

Charleston Parks Conservancy says that the “renovation will transform Colonial Lake into a public park similar in quality to the City’s Waterfront Park.”

Even though this lake is beloved by the community, it gives off an aura of dereliction and unkemptness. Cracks fill the sidewalks; sparse scatterings of trees line the perimeter, exposing park visitors to surrounding streets; limited seating is available; and the lake water is low and difficult to regulate, revealing its basin’s muddy bottom.

The renovation will correct all of these problems. The proposed plan includes the replacement of the basin, along with a new flushing system to keep the lake water clean. New sidewalks will be added, along with good lighting so the park can be used safely after dark.

Rutledge and Ashley Avenues bordering Colonial Lake will be narrowed. This change will slow traffic slightly, but pedestrian safety is expected to improve. A new line of trees will fill in the old road space, with Ashley Avenue gaining a line of live oaks.

The City of Charleston will pay $4 million of the $5 million price tag. Charleston Parks Conservancy will raise the extra $1 million from private donations.

The renovation is scheduled to take place between May 2014 and July 2015. The worst of the construction is expected to terminate by June of 2015.

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