SCDOT Road Projects Announced Following Gas Tax Increase

SCDOT announces plans for funding over the next 10 years.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has announced the first projects following the approval of the gas tax increase.

The increase goes into effect on July 1, 2017 and will increase by two cents each year for the next six years.

On Thursday, the Secretary of Transportation presented the plans to the Transportation Commission.

The plans include a Rural Roads Safety Program, set to make improvements to deadly roads around the state. 58 percent of the state's traffic fatalities occur on rural roads.

"The intent is to make fairly simple improvements like widening roads, adding turn lanes, cutting trees, adding rumble strips," says Pete Poore, director of communications for SCDOT. "Those are fairly low cost, but still we need the revenue to get started. So, it's just a matter of time before the revenue comes in."

When that revenue comes in, US-76 in Richland County is the first roadway to be improved. The projects are prioritized based on fatal and serious injures reported on those roads. US-76 had 23 fatal or serious injuries in 2016.

SCDOT plans to tackle 500 of the 2,000 miles of rural roads around the state in their first phase of improvements.

"The roads and bridges are a major asset to this state," says Transportation Commission Chair Woody Willard. "That's what allows us to grow, and that's what allows us to bridge communities together. We have been neglectful in maintaining all of those assets."

The commission approved the plans and will hold a 21-day public input period before the plans are finalized.

Residents can send comments or concerns to:

South Carolina Department of Transportation
Attn: Customer Service Center
955 Park Street
P.O. Box 191
Columbia, SC 29201-3959

South Carolina Department of Transportation
Attn: Customer Service Center
955 Park Street
P.O. Box 191
Columbia, SC 29201-3959

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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