STATEWIDE (WIS) - Tell me if you've heard this one before: State legislators may go another year without addressing road and infrastructure needs.
When a vote was taken earlier this week to advance a bill to fix our roads and bridges, your senators voted to keep the bill off the floor and not debate on? it.
The bill, which includes a 12-cent gas tax increase over six years and raise other fees, would raise approximately $800 million per year.
As of now, there is no guarantee it will be debated or voted on.
So, here we stand. No closer to a fix for our deplorable infrastructure than we were last year at this time. And, Senator Tom Davis has all but promised to again hold up the process with a filibuster if the bill includes raising the gas tax without SCDOT reform.
A recent report from a non-profit group named TRIP that researches infrastructure across the nation says the Palmetto State's deficient roads cost the average driver in Columbia about $1700 extra each year in vehicle operating costs, delays due to congestion-related gas costs and crashes. Also, according to the group, Columbia drivers waste an average of 38 extra hours sitting in traffic congestion annually.
We've estimated a 12-cent gas increase cost the average driver less than $100 per year. That's a far cry from the thousands being spent because of our terrible roads.
Our elected leaders must find a way to pass recurring funding for roads and bridges. So stop the in-fighting and get something done. We've heard the reasons on both sides. You've made your points. Now, make your compromises and get this state on the road to safety. The deterioration is not stopping. We have no more time.
That's my take, what's yours?