Report: Roads cost Columbia drivers $1,300 a year

Report: Roads cost Columbia drivers $1,300 a year

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (AP/WIS) - With fixing South Carolina's roads a priority in Columbia this year, a new report evaluates the condition of the state's highways and bridges.

The Road Information Program - TRIP for short -released its report on Thursday. TRIP is a nonprofit group based in Washington D.C.

The TRIP report says "roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost South Carolina motorists a total of $3 billion statewide annually -- nearly $1,300 per driver in the Columbia urban area." The report says 46 percent of major roads and highways are in poor condition. One-fifth of South Carolina's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

"Not everybody gets a flat tire, not everybody has to get their front end realigned but for the people who do they know those costs and it could be easier to fix our roads then to have these people pay these costs sit in traffic," said Eric Dickey with SC Alliance to Fix Our Roads.

Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to unveil her plan for funding highway projects now that the General Assembly is again in session.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation has projected that by the year 2040, the state will need to spend another $60 billion on roads and highways.

But based on revenue projections of only $28 billion during the period, the state will be about $1.5 billion short each year of meeting its needs.

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