“Across America, the average state is responsible for only 19 percent of the public miles within its borders, so South Carolina’s level of responsibility is more than three times the national average. Yet, the State of South Carolina’s highway program is funded by a revenue base that is well below the national average and clearly insufficient to meet the construction and maintenance needs of the state.”
Those are the findings of a statewide task force to study the state’s highway needs. READ FULL REPORT.
The report was a year-long effort by the Transportation Infrastructure Task Force, a group of transportation professionals and private citizens in South Carolina. The findings have been approved by the SCDOT Commission.
In summary, the report shows that current funding levels are far below regional and national norms and that, consequently the state is expending the vast majority of its funds on highway maintenance and upkeep.
Despite this emphasis on maintenance, the task force says there will be a guaranteed decline in the system over the next twenty years. and recommends a review of Revenue policy and the current revenue base.
The report lists challenges to highway upkeep: including inflation, newer vehicle fuel efficiency, an aging highway system, population growth, changing freight patterns, anti-tax sentiments, unfunded mandates, fragmentation of governance, and state government’s high level of responsibility for highways.
The group and the SCDOT Commission characterize the state’s highway condition as in “benign neglect of statewide highway needs.”