(WIS) - State lawmakers and many of the people they represent say they're happy South Carolina has taken a major step toward better roads and bridges.
Much of the General Assembly is celebrating on the final day of the legislative session. Drivers say raising the gas tax is the right thing to do and the rebuilding work is especially urgent when it comes to bridges.
It's a short drive over long-standing transportation problems.
On I-26 just across Airport Boulevard or Highway 302 is the fourth worst bridge in South Carolina. Within five miles of each other, four of the state's top five worst bridges, as ranked by the South Carolina, Fix Our Roads organization.
Two of the worst bridges in South Carolina in rapid succession. Going across Augusta Highway or Highway 1, right close to Exit 111-B. Structurally deficient bridges.
Add to those another deficient span in the Malfunction Junction area at I-126. And if you were to travel north of Columbia, a bridge near I-77 and Farrow Road has been classified as "functionally obsolete" since 1990.
The gas tax increase approved this week will begin generating funds for repairs on all of those and hundreds more bridges and roads around the state.
A relief for drivers here and those passing through - but don't expect repairs right away. DOT says it will take until 2019 to get going on the 26-126 project. And until 2021 to start on those other bad bridges.