NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – North Augusta city leaders were hit with a costly surprise in the Riverside Village construction.
About a month ago, construction workers came across contaminated soil when they were moving dirt around center field.
“When they started digging they could even smell the fumes from it,” said City Administrator Todd Glover.
The future home of the Augusta GreenJackets used to be what we’ve come to know as an industrial park.
North Augusta Heritage Council President Milledge Murray says over the years many businesses have been located on South Carolina’s riverfront.
In the very same place where Riverside Village is being built.
So, he wasn’t to shocked to learn contaminated soil was found in that area.
“One of the early businesses that was here, but I don’t know that we can completely blame it on, but the People’s Oil Company was right on this side of the bridge.” Murray told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
Murray says Riverside Village used to be the home of the Industrial Lumber Company.
At one point it was the North Augusta Dispensary and a pottery company, as well as other small businesses were located there.
“We knew going on into this, that this was not pristine green space.” Glover said.
While the city tested the ground before construction, it wasn’t until they started digging the stadium bowl that workers uncovered the bad soil.
Glover says it’s a mixture of contaminants, but remnants of fuel is the main one.
The city is working with D.H.E.C. to properly dispose of the soil and ensure they don’t agitate the problem.
Luckily city leaders planned for unforeseen costs and included a $1 million dollar contingency fund to pay for problems.
“We’ve got a place holder on it for $300,000 dollars.” Glover said. “We think it will be significantly less than that, but we want to make sure we set aside enough money to deal with it.”
Glover says removing the contaminated soil won’t impact construction.
Bad soil was found in a few other spots, but in much smaller patches.
Those areas will be properly taken care of as well.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest information on this developing story.