SC Alliance to Fix Our Roads: 'Tough choices' to fix state roads - - Columbia, South Carolina

Group: State gov't faces 'tough choices' to fix state's crumbling roads

(Source: Facebook) (Source: Facebook)

South Carolina lawmakers got a lot done this year, but some say action is needed to fix the state's crumbling roads.

"I think the public is tired of driving on poor roads and tearing up their vehicles on roads and being tied up in congestion," said Bill Ross with the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads.

For Ross, this legislative session wasn't a good one for his cause.

"We're very much disappointed in what happened this year," Ross said.

The group, which is fighting to improve state roads bridges and highways, launched a website where people from across the state to lobby lawmakers via Facebook and Twitter.

The response was overwhelming.

"That our roads were dangerous, that they reminded them of Mexico that it was like driving on gravel roads -- there was a mixture of a lot of comments like that," Ross said.

Ultimately, those pleas fell on deaf ears.

Gov. Nikki Haley has vowed to veto any license fee hike or gas tax increase and hopes to find a solution without raising taxes.

"That's not realistic," Ross said. "As far as I'm concerned, that's not being realistic at all and being insincere."

Last year, Haley pledged about $1 billion for roads over the next 10 years but the state Transportation Department and Ross say about $29 billion is needed over the next 20 years.

"The big thing about a motor fuel user fee or gas tax is over 30 percent of that is paid for by people driving through our state," Ross said.

The Alliance to Fix Our Roads is not backing down and is already planning ahead for next session by continuing efforts through social media.

"It's going to take some tough choices," Ross said. "It's not an easy answer."

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