Commissioners approved $1 million for each of the five interstate expansions which are intended to come to fruition using revenues ($110 million) from the fuel tax/preventative maintenance tax credit after it sunsets in 2022. Details of the interstate routes slated for improvements are outlined below.
Additional Changes to the STIP In addition to the five interstate improvements, the commission also made other changes to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) including but not limited to: the inclusion of 16 closed and load-restricted bridges; the inclusion of the I-85 bridge over Rocky Creek; and the inclusion of the I-95 bridge over Little Reedy Creek.View these STIP changes and others here. Public Comments on the projects can be viewed here.
Outgoing Commission Chairman Ben Davis, left, passes the gavel to the newly elected Chairman, Chairman Robby Robbins, center, after the Jan. 17, 2019, SCDOT Commission Meeting in Columbia. At right is newly elected Commission Vice-Chairman Tony Cox. (Photo by Rob Thompson/SCDOT)
Robbins Named Chairman of SCDOT Commission Robby Robbins (Dist. 1) was elected Chairman of the SCDOT Commission. He joined the SCDOT Commission in 2016 and served as Vice Chairman of the Commission in 2018.
"I am honored to be selected by the SCDOT Commission members to serve as the Chairman of this body,” Robbins said. “I appreciate their confidence in me, and I pledge to use my experience to guide the Commission as we make important policy decisions on transportation issues in the coming year."
Robbins, a Summerville attorney, is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the USC School of Law. He was 1st Circuit Deputy Solicitor from 1997-2003 and 1st Circuit Solicitor in 2004. Robbins was a member of the Dorchester County Sales Tax Transportation Authority from 2004 to 2015.
Cox Named Vice Chairman of the SCDOT Commission Tony Cox (Dist. 7) was elected Vice Chairman of the SCDOT Commission. He joined the SCDOT Commission in 2017.
A graduate of Coastal Carolina University, Cox is a real estate professional with over 36 years of experience. He currently serves as the executive vice president at Burroughs and Chapin Co, Inc. in Myrtle Beach.
Cox has previously served on the South Carolina Real Estate Commission, Horry County Planning Commission and the Myrtle Beach Air Base Redevelopment Authority.
Financial Report For the financial report ending November 30, 2018, the SCDOT received a total of $764 million in revenues which is less than the $930 million they projected. This shortage can be attributed to how partner projects and federally funded projects are progressing. The agency dedicates 81% of revenues towards system maintenance, preservation, and improvements. The full financial report can be found here.
Construction Program There is currently $3.1 billion worth of work under contract. Of that work, $1.3 billion has been completed.
Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund All of the new fuel tax revenues are deposited into the Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund (IMTF). The account balance was $407,362,552.94 as of December 31, 2018. Detailed statements regarding the IMTF, (including details regarding projects and payments that have been made) can be found here. This information is updated on a monthly basis.
Pothole Blitz is Underway! Since launching the Pothole Blitz last week, the SCDOT has received 4,920 work requests (10x more than they received this time last year) and 75% of those work requests have been completed. Remember, these repairs are meant to be temporary until resurfacing can be done, but without these temporary repairs, the potholes will only worsen. If you haven’t reported potholes to the agency, you are encouraged to do so – crews are working extended hours to address potholes across the entire state.
Audit Committee The SCDOT Commission Audit Committee met prior to the January monthly meeting to review the independent audit of FY 2018. Don Mobley, Scott, and Company presented an overview of findings to the Commission. Mobley noted that based on the review of financial statements and internal controls, the SCDOT was given an unmodified opinion (the best/highest score possible for an audit of this type.) A full copy of the audit can be found here.
House Committees Hear from SCDOT This week, the House Ways and Means Transportation Budget Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Shannon Erickson (R-Beaufort) heard from SCDOT on their budget proviso requests for the upcoming fiscal year.
SCDOT Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall noted that the agency is requesting a new proviso to further clarify the increase of revenues to the CTCs as passed in Act 40. In addition, the agency is also requesting the removal of two provisos:
1. Bridge replacement in McCormick County (the project is complete)
2. Utility Relocation proviso that authorized the SCDOT to use its federal-aid road and bridge program funds for the relocation of public water and sewer lines in accordance with federal guidelines.
Rep. Erickson praised the agency for their work over the past year as well as their recent efforts with the “pothole blitz.” She also emphasized the importance of education on road funding issues and encouraged the department to keep sharing information about the progress being made.
Secretary Hall also stated that while the fuel tax increase was an important piece of legislation and was desperately needed, there are still many unmet needs across the state. She added that if and when the time comes for additional revenues whether they be from the federal government, state, or another source, that her top recommendation for the use of the money will be to go towards non-interstate capacity improvements.
Following the Ways and Means subcommittee, the SCDOT presented to members of the House Education & Public Works Committee which is chaired by Rep. Rita Allison (R-Spartanburg). Secretary Hall opened her presentation by emphasizing that the agency was working to “rebuild the transportation system over the next ten years.” Hall then provided a broad overview of the agency operations as well as an update on the progress that is being made to #fixscroads.
Members of the committee posed some great questions regarding progress, challenges, and also expressed their appreciation for her leadership of the agency.