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SCDOT Commission Approves Part 2 of Paving Program
The Commission approved Part 2 of the 2020 pavement program at Thursday's meeting. These rehabilitation and reconstruction projects total $45.6 million and account for 637 miles.  They are scheduled to go to bid between January 2020 and June 2020. 
These projects will be open for 21 days of public comment with any substantive comments to be provided to the Commission for its consideration. Barring any substantive comments, the projects are to be incorporated in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  View the full Part 2 Pavement Program presentation here. 

You may recall the Commission approved revised methodology for allocating funds to counties and Part 1 of the program in June. Adjusting the methodology resulted in $45.6 million being changed from preservation dollars to rehab/reconstruction dollars. The changes are aimed to allow counties to address more roads in need of reconstruction/rehabilitation.  
Proposed Budget for 2020/2021 Approved
Commissioners approved the $2.637 billion budget for fiscal year 2020/21. Thanks to the recent efforts of the legislature to allocate vehicle-related fees to roads, state revenues now make up 50% of the SCDOT’s budget. 
According to SCDOT, revenues are on track to meet financial requirements for the 10-year plan.  Motor fuel revenues are anticipated to remain stagnant, and the infrastructure maintenance fee (formerly the car sales tax) and DMV fees continue to track above expectations. 

Expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year will continue to be primarily attributed to maintenance, preservation, capacity, and operational improvements. 
The full presentation on the proposed budget can be viewed here. 
Two Roads No Longer Named for Former Commissioner
The SCDOT Commission passed a resolution by acclamation to rescind the dedication of two roads which held the name of former Commissioner John Hardee
The “John Hardee Expressway” (Road S-378 between Platt Springs Road and Airport Boulevard in Lexington County) has been renamed the “Columbia Airport Expressway.”  Also, a 2.5-mile section of U.S. 701 in Horry County will no longer be known as the “John N. Hardee Highway.” 
The resolution “disavows the actions of former Commissioner Hardee,” and instructs SCDOT to remove signs from the routes and erect new signs to note the changes.  Shortly after the resolution was adopted, new signs were going up near the Columbia Airport.
July Highway Letting
24 Projects awarded totaling over $50.54 million. 
Click here for details.

August Highway Letting
14 projects awarded totaling over $31 million.
Click here for details.

Procurement Contracts (July & August)
5 standard contracts awarded totaling over $5.45 million.
11 indefinite contracts awarded totaling over $13.8 million.
Click here for details.

Professional Service Contracts (July & August)
14 contracts awarded totaling over $83.5 million. 
Click here for details. 
Construction Program Update
The state’s construction program continues to increase with $3.6 billion worth of work under contract across the state.  Since the fiscal year began on July 1, the state has awarded over $81 million in contracts.  Details on the dollars by project category can be found here.
Where is the New Money Going?
There continues to be a lot of misinformation about how the new money is (or isn’t) being spent. SCDOT Commission Vice-Chairman Tony Cox summed the mantra of the groups pushing these ideas very well. “They don’t let facts get in the way of their opinion,” he said.   We couldn't agree more.  So, here’s a quick rundown of the latest financial data from the Act 40 revenues:
1.    There is over $1 billion in project commitments, with the vast majority awarded and in the construction phase. 
2.    Since the passage of Act 40 in 2017, over $782 million has been deposited into the IMTF. Of that, $223 million comes solely from the fuel tax increase. 
3.    Over $310 million has been paid out for completed work, allocations the County Transportation Committees (CTCs), and to cover the preventative maintenance tax credit for South Carolinians. 
4.    Currently, SCDOT has over $472 million in the IMTF Trust Fund. And yes, thankfully more money is coming in because as we mentioned in #1, there is $1 billion worth of work that needs to be paid for as it is completed. 

The full financial update presentation which includes IMTF data can be found here. 
Senate Finance Subcommittee to Address Interstate Capacity
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) has appointed a special Finance subcommittee to address interstate capacity in South Carolina. The subcommittee will be co-chaired by Senators Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee) and Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington). Members of the subcommittee also include Senators Glenn Reese (D-Spartanburg); Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley); Tom Davis (R-Beaufort); Greg Gregory (R-Lancaster); and Kevin Johnson (D-Clarendon). 
It is clear that the Senate wants to continue the dialogue of addressing infrastructure needs, and we applaud them for doing so. The discussion will be limited to the Senate for the time being.  However, these talks will likely spark the opportunity for the legislature to have meaningful conversations in the future about the needs that Act 40 simply can't address.  The committee is expected to meet next month.  Stay tuned...
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