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SC working through $6B federal investment to address roads, bridges

The state was allocated billions last year to address things like roads and bridges. Here's a look at their progress.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Bumpy or overcrowded South Carolina roads may soon be getting an upgrade.

The state is working through a $6 billion federal investment to improve things like roads, bridges and airports.

The money comes as part of the Biden Administration's Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law last year. 

So, how is the state progressing on these projects with the additional funds?

RELATED: South Carolina preparing to spend $900M in federal funds on water, sewer upgrades

Pete Poore with the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) said their progress starts with a look at history.

"1987 was the last time South Carolina had a highway revenue increase," Poore said. "So, for 30 years until 2017… there was no money to maintain the roads."

They've been working toward a 10-year repair plan since.

The federal dollars have boosted their efforts with bridge replacement, road repavement and interstate widening projects already underway, including I-26 between Columbia and Charleston and Malfunction Junction - the I-20, I-26 and I-126 corridor.

"We're actually ahead of schedule with a lot of the paving and the bridge replacements and those sorts of things," Poore said.

RELATED: What the government is doing to help with trains blocking roads

Already, over 5,500 miles of road has been repaved, according to SCDOT. Also, more than 220 bridges have been upgraded and 80 miles of interstate have been improved.

It's much needed work, according to Jonathan Thrasher, a civil engineer who assisted with the National Infrastructure Report Card. The state ranked D+ last year.

"A lot of these systems were put in, 50-years-ago and they're reaching the end of their design life," Thrasher said. "So, it is important for us to get those projects done as quickly as possible."

Poore is assuring the public their work is well underway.

"We will continue to keep working to resurface roads, not patch them, but resurface them completely," Poore said, "replace bridges that need to be replaced, and improve our interstates."

RELATED: Cayce sewer improvements coming to Six Mile Creek

To view a list of projects the state is working on including road improvements in local communities, visit SCDOT online.

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