Inside South Carolina Department of Transportation

Environmental Services - Environmental Spotlight

SCDOT Video Producer Drew Stewart (foreground) films RPG 3 Program Manager Brian Klauk (background) as consultant Krista Lee of HDR (right) operates teleprompter at ETV for the Carolina Crossroads online meeting video.
SCDOT Video Producer Drew Stewart (left) films ESO Manager Heather Robbins (background) as consultant Krista Lee of HDR (right) operates teleprompter at ETV for the Carolina Crossroads online meeting video.
Tracy Miller of ESO makes a stone tool at the SC Knap-In.
The Gilgal Baptist Church in Edgefield is one of the oldest churches along the Drive US 25 corridor. Founded ca. 1810, the present building dates to 1839 and is much plainer in style than many of its contemporaries.
The Pine House along the Drive US 25 corridor is one of the most significant buildings in Trenton. It is located across the road from the Piney Woods Tavern, which was established as a stagecoach stop in 1786 between Augusta, GA, and Ninety Six.
ESO 2016 Employee of the Year Tucker Creed, Mitigation Manager
Confluence of Rose Branch with Lynches River at the Lynches River Mitigation Site.
Reach of Rose Branch before construction at the Lynches River Mitigation Site.
New reach of Rose Branch after construction at the Lynches River Mitigation Site.
New vegetation plot showing live stakes transplanted along new stream channel at the Lynches River Mitigation Site.
Preserved reach of Rose Branch at the Lynches River Mitigation Site.
Ford constructed at old logging road to improve hydrology at the Lynches River Mitigation Site.
The Carolina Crossroads I-20/26/126 Corridor Project will play a critical role for South Carolina. If implemented, it would improve mobility and safety in one of the most congested highway corridors in the state. On May 12, 2015, SCDOT held a Community Kick-Off Meeting to invite the public to meet Project team members, learn about technical aspects of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the transportation decision making process, the Project's anticipated schedule, and explain how members of the public can stay informed and get involved. An online meeting was developed and hosted on the Carolina Crossroads Project website. Video of the Project's Program Manager, Brian Klauk, and Environmental Manager, Heather Robbins, was filmed by SCDOT's Video Producer, Drew Stewart, at a green-screen studio at ETV. This footage was incorporated into the online meeting slides to supplement the static content.

ESO's Bill Jurgelski and Tracy Miller recently attended the first SC Knap-In. The Knap-In was held on May 8-9, 2015, at Lynches River County Park near Florence. The event was sponsored by the Archaeological Society of South Carolina (ASSC), a non-profit group devoted to furthering the study of archaeology in the Palmetto state. A Knap-In is a gathering of people interested in primitive arts, chiefly the manufacture of stone tools such as arrowheads and spearheads. Stone tool makers are known as "Flint Knappers," since the process involves knapping, or carefully fracturing off small pieces of stone flakes until a tool is formed.

In addition to being an unusual hobby, there is a scholarly side to flint knapping. Many of the artifacts that archaeologists find on prehistoric archaeological sites consist of stone tools and flakes, or debitage, left over from making the tools. By replicating the process of stone tool manufacture, modern day flint knappers help archaeologists better understand these artifacts. In addition to demonstrations of flint knapping, the Knap-In featured craftspeople displaying hand-crafted bows and arrows, pottery, and Native American flutes, among other items. Hands-on activities were also available. The highlight for most visitors, though, was an opportunity to test their skills at spear throwing using an "atlatl," which is a spear-thrower, or a small wooden launching device with a hook or notch at one end that holds the end of the spear. Launching a spear with an atlatl provides leverage that greatly increases the velocity of the throw. Atlatls were used by Native American hunters for thousands of years.

As part of the mitigation efforts for adverse effects to the National Register eligible Padgett House resulting from the US Highway 25 (US 25) widening project in Edgefield County, SCDOT created the Drive US 25 brochure. This brochure highlights 18 key historic sites on or near US 25 in Edgefield County. An accompanying map directs motorists to the site locations. Hard copies of this brochure have been delivered to Edgefield County for distribution via various government offices and civic organizations that focus on promoting local history and heritage tourism. A link to this brochure is available in the ESO Tool Shed under the topic Cultural Resources in the Brochures section.
Mr. Tucker Creed, P.E. for ESO Employee of the Year
Center: Tucker Creed Mr. Creed is the Mitigation Manager for the State of South Carolina. Along with the challenge of meeting wetland and stream mitigation requirements throughout the state, Mr. Creed is also working on developing a mitigation prediction tools with USC. Mr. Creed is a team player and works well with his fellow ESO coworkers, but also with ESO's internal and external clients. A few of his many accomplishments this past year include:
  • Developed the I-73 RFP
  • Assisted in the write-up of Gunter Island's Conceptual Mitigation Plan
  • Took the Lead in developing and responding to the Inundation letters to I-73 Property owners
  • Took the lead in helping Permit Managers deal with Inundation in the application process
  • Heading up the Emergency Permitting Coordination with USACE and SCDHEC (300+ projects)
  • Weekly coordination with USACE on Emergency projects that need additional information for more detailed approvals (60+ projects)

The Lynches River Stream and Wetlands Mitigation Site is located approximately four miles south of Lamar in Darlington County in the Southeastern Plains Ecoregion. Due to limited compensatory mitigation bank options in the region, SCDOT opted to pursue permittee-responsible mitigation for unavoidable impacts to natural resources associated with five roadway projects in Florence County. These projects include the US 378 Widening, SC 51 Pamplico Highway Widening, US 76 Widening, TV Road Widening, and Alligator Road Widening.

The site contains the Lynches River and its associated floodplain, Rose Branch (a direct tributary to the Lynches River), an unnamed tributary to Rose Branch, riparian wetlands within the Lynches River floodplain, and headwater and riparian wetlands associated with Rose Branch and its unnamed tributary. Mitigation work, which was carried out between August 2013 and May 2014, included restoration, enhancement, and preservation of over 41,000 linear feet of stream and nearly 430 acres of wetland.

Part of the mitigation efforts involves monitoring vegetation establishment and stream stability at the site. After the first year of monitoring, native vegetation that was planted in restored and enhanced areas is surviving well across the site and is exceeding predicted success in restored and enhanced wetlands. Invasive plant species are isolated and are not affecting the success of natural or planted species. Restored streams are stable and functioning as intended.

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