Despite budget cuts resulting from revenue reductions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Carolina Department of Transportation said it remains on track with the 10-year strategic plan established in 2017 for improving the state’s roads.
[Above photo by SCDOT.]
To date, SCDOT has resurfaced or is resurfacing 4,240 miles, including 750 miles in its Rural Road Safety Program; a program designed to improve the “worst of the worst” deadliest roads in the state.
The agency added that 16 deficient bridges have been replaced or are under construction as part of its 10-year plan, with its Interstate Improvement Program witnessing an investment of nearly $144 million. Combined with federal finds, work is in progress to widen I-85 in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties and I-20 in Lexington County, with SCDOT recently completing the I-85/I-385 Interchange in Greenville County.
“We have had a very successful start on the long journey to repair and improve our state’s 42,000-mile highway system with sustainable funding we didn’t have for 30 years,” explained Christy Hall, SCDOT’s secretary, in a statement.
“Our state and nation are currently experiencing significant challenges. SCDOT has cut its internal operating budget by 11 percent in order to offset the short-term revenue impacts of the pandemic,” she added. But “no road and bridge projects have been cut, and our work to meet or exceed our 10-year plan goals continues.”
The plan focuses on four priorities – rural road safety, paving and resurfacing, bridge replacements, and Interstate improvements – and Hall said those four programs are SCDOT’s top priorities.
“Our paving program is a start in repairing a highway system that been neglected for three decades. The Rural Road Safety Program is our response to S.C. having the highest fatality rate in the nation,” she noted. “We have 8,400 bridges in our system. Each one a critical link in the system. And our economy is dependent upon good interstates to keep our economic growth moving forward.”