Cypress Wetland gets new drainage system

Water now can flow in and out of Port Royal's Cypress Wetland thanks to a new drainage system.

Installing pipes and drainage boxes required workers to dig up the road at different locations throughout Port Royal's village.

Contractors are still working on sections of road along 16th Street and at 12th and Richmond streets and should be finished in two to three weeks, town manager Van Willis said.

The work is part of improvements planned for the Cypress Wetland that also include new walking paths, boardwalks, seating areas, landscaping, decks and new signs with information about the animals, plants and birds that live there.

The wetland is visible from Paris Avenue and for years has been overgrown and full of stagnant water.

Town Council members voted in January to devote about $250,000 to beautify the area and turn it into a local attraction.

The new drainage system connects the Cypress Wetland to aboutfour other wetlands that lead to the Beaufort River, Willis said.

"What we've created is a fantastic filtration system before anything gets out to the river," Willis said.

Workers also have been clearing another wetland near 11th and Richmond streets by pulling cattails and spraying for invasive plant species.

They plan to cut out remaining invasive plants soon, Willis said.

Port Royal must resolve property-line issues before it can move forward with the walking path and some of the other improvements, Willis said. Until then, Willis said he doesn't know when the remaining work will be completed.

"Our initial impression is that we will get it resolved," he said. The improvements "will add value to affected owners' property."