Earlier this week, the South Carolina Section of The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 2021 Report Card of South Carolina's Infrastructure. The report utilized data from 2-3 years ago regarding the physical condition of the state's roads and bridges and combined that with several other factors, including additional needs for investment, in order to generate the score for South Carolina. While even this aged road data shows South Carolina slightly ahead of the National score for roads, it also underrepresents the improvements made since the passage of the state gas tax increase. Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall issued this statement on Thursday, September 9, 2021, in reaction to the report.
"During the past five years, our state leaders have made significant new investments in repairing South Carolina's roads and bridges, which have suffered from 30 years of underfunded maintenance. As promised under its 10-Year Plan, SCDOT is resurfacing aging roadways, replacing and rehabilitating structurally deficient bridges, widening key portions of our interstates, and making our most dangerous rural roads safer. While ASCE's pavement condition rating of our roads is based on 2018 data, SCDOT continues making significant progress each year. In fact, we're ahead of schedule in delivering needed improvements to the state's transportation network.
"We're addressing road quality, but we still have work to do in addressing congestion, especially off of the interstate system. South Carolina is the 10th fastest-growing state in the nation and our infrastructure needs to keep up with that growth to continue our prosperity. The discussion on infrastructure in Washington is timely and much needed. The additional federal funding being considered could mean an additional $250 million in federal funds per year to SCDOT to address congestion and additional repairs. This would require approximately $100 million more in state funding per year to match and fully utilize all of the new federal funding.
"In addition, we hope state leadership will allocate significant one-time federal American Rescue Plan Act monies to widen all of I-26 between Columbia and Charleston. This would slingshot this critical project forward.
"Taken together, these new opportunities represent an exciting, once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a first-class road and bridge network for South Carolina's citizens and businesses. We look forward to working with state and federal policymakers toward that end."