How does SCDOT plan to spend $800M in new gas tax revenue? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

How does SCDOT plan to spend $800M in new gas tax revenue?

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A breakdown of costs details how much money the South Carolina Department of Transportation will spend and on what as the state's new 12-cent gas tax increase kicks in over the next 6 years and beyond.

In data released by DOT, around $800 million in additional revenue will be raised by the increase in the state's gas tax by 2024. 

“Our roads fell into neglect over a 30-year period," DOT Secretary Christy Hall said in a statement. "We believe the 10-year plan can make great strides in rebuilding our system. The new funding will trickle into the Maintenance Trust Fund at first. But as funding increases in small increments over the next six years, South Carolinians and our visitors can expect to see more road and bridge construction all over the state with each passing year."

A majority of the $800 million -- $407 million specifically -- will be used to resurface state roads with interstates and major roads and highways receiving a bulk of that repaving work.

South Carolina's interstate highway system will also see $161 million in expansion with the extra cash infusion. Interstate 85 from Greenville to the North Carolina state line will be widened. The entire Midlands interstate system -- and yes, that means Malfunction Junction -- will see major improvements as well. The Lowcountry's Interstate 526 and Interstate 26 will also see plenty of orange cones soon.

DOT is also looking to replace 465 bridges to the tune of $67 million.

The new revenue will also aid in a new $50 million program targeting some of the state's deadliest rural roads. 

"The research done by our engineers has revealed that 30 percent of our highway deaths occur on only 5 percent of our highways and these roads are in our rural areas. We plan to invest $50 million of the new funds into this program each year to save as many lives as possible," Hall said.

The state's new fees and higher gas tax kicks in with the first 2 cents on July 1.

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