Letter to the Editor
by The Press and Standard | September 9, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 5, 2018 at 8:16 am
What’s going on at SCDOT?
The S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has received some inquiries as to how the “10-Year Plan to Rebuild our Roads and Bridges” is progressing, since the roads bill went into law on July 1, 2017. The legislation provided the first significant and sustainable revenue increase for the state’s highway system in 30 years.
SCDOT’s goal is to reach the targets that we have set for the next decade to bring our entire highway system significantly closer to a “good” rating. Equally important to us is that our revenues, programs and projects are completely transparent and accountable during the next decade and beyond.
To recap our current progress, in just over one year, SCDOT’s construction program has surpassed the $3 billion mark for the first time in the agency’s 100-year history. This figure represents the level of funding that has been committed to construction projects that are being planned or are actually under construction.
Over $440 million of this funding for roads and bridges has been provided by the gas tax increase that was passed by the General Assembly last year. The new revenue is committed to the four major priorities in the 10-year plan: road paving, rural road safety improvements, bridge replacements and interstate highway widening.
The process SCDOT uses to get priority lists for these four project areas is analytical, not political. The SCDOT Commission approved proposed priority lists following a lengthy criteria list that has been evaluated by our engineering and planning staff members.
Another goal is to ensure that all regions of the state benefit from the four programs, depending on their highest needs. Every county in this state has roads that require repair by repaving, not just pothole patching. A large share of the new funding is being used for just that purpose in the resurfacing program, due to the condition of roads all across the state.
SCDOT must be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. For that reason, the contractors who are doing the work for the 10-year plan are not paid until the work is completed. This is true in any project ever awarded by SCDOT.
We invite you to follow our progress by visiting: https://scdot.org/inside/pdf/IMTF%20June30%Project%20List.pdf to view a county-by-county list of projects funded by the new gas tax.
See how SCDOT is working to repair your highway system.
J. Barnwell Fishburne
Sixth Congressional District