State gas tax funds lead to largest paving program in SC history
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation announced its new 2021-2022 paving program on Friday.
The program will result in nearly 1,000 more miles of the state’s roads being rehabilitated and resurfaced during in the next two years. The Transportation Commission approved the plan during its May 20, 2021 meeting.
These miles being scheduled for new pavement include larger primary routes, which carry the most traffic, as well as secondary, or farm-to-market, roads and neighborhood streets.
It will be funded by an estimated $642 million of revenues from the state gas tax and will increase an additional two cents effective July 1, 2021.
Some interstate pavement is also included in the $642 million plan.
The state gas tax increase enacted in 2017 is being phased in two cents per year for six years through 2022.
“Thanks to the foresight of the general assembly in creating sustainable additional funding, this year’s paving plan is the largest annual program in state history and will result in SCDOT having repaved more than 5,000 miles of roads across the state during a five-year period,” said J. Barnwell Fishburne, chairman of the Transportation Commission.
The new plan includes paving projects in all of South Carolina’s 46 counties and is in addition to the $1.7 billion of projects SCDOT is currently implementing during year four of its 10-year plan to improve road quality.
Paving the state’s corridors that have the greatest need of improvement is the largest of the 10-year plan’s four programs, which also include replacing or repairing aging bridges, making rural roads safer, and improving key portions of interstates.
“We are committed to full transparency in how we select and construct projects,” said Transportation Secretary Christy Hall. “We encourage citizens to provide comments during the paving program’s Public Comment period, which will begin in a few days. We are putting the state gas tax and other funds to work for South Carolinians.”
Since 2017, more than $1.3 billion from the New Gas Tax Trust Fund has been allocated to new paving projects across the state.
The addition of this year’s $642 million of paving will result in nearly $2 billion of paving projects in a five-year period, a record for the agency.
In total, the state gas tax, vehicle sales tax and other fees, and federal funding sources have enabled SCDOT to triple its work program to a historic $3.2 billion.
A list of the county-by-county paving projects in the new program for 2021-2022 can be found on SCDOT’s website at scdot.org.
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