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"SC highway work-zone signs are there for a reason; obey them"
The Post and Courier published an excellent editorial this week that serves as a reminder to drivers to slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones. Sadly, the article comes on the heels of the death of two SCDOT workers in Horry County on July 25.
"Those ubiquitous orange cones along the side of the highway, the "WORK ZONE" signs that announce a lower speed limit and a high mandatory fine for speeding... They're there to protect the lives of highway workers, many of whom have to do their jobs within feet of traffic zooming by at 50, 70, 90 mph."

According to the editorial, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) says construction-zone fatalities are increasing at double the rate of all traffic fatalities nationally, at least in part as a result of the increasing amount of highway construction and repair work that states are undertaking.  

As South Carolina continues to ramp up the road construction program, drivers must use caution when traveling through work zones.  Everyone should get home safely, including the folks out working to fix our roads. Read the Post and Courier editorial here. 
July Public Comment Notices
 
Corridor Improvements on Red Bank Road in Berkeley County
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is providing public notice of the safety improvements along the corridor of Red Bank Road (S-29) from Eagle Road (S-251) to (S-585) near Garwood Road. Upon completion of the 21-day comment period, the project will be included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

For more details on the project and/or to submit comments, please click here. 


Bridge Replacement over Hanging Rock Creek in Lancaster County
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is providing public notification to add the right of way and construction phases to replace the bridge located at S-764 (3C's Road) over Hanging Rock Creek in Lancaster County. Upon completion of the 21-day public comment period, the bridge will be included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

This bridge was placed out of service in 2015 due to structural issues. The bridge is currently closed to traffic, and preliminary engineering has begun to initiate design of the new bridge. 

For more details on the project and/or to submit comments, please click here. 


Bridge Replacement over Sawneys Creek in Fairfield County
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is providing public notification to add the right of way and construction phases to replace the bridge located at S-43 (Bellfield Road) over Sawneys Creek in Fairfield County. Upon completion of the 21-day public comment period, the bridge will be included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

This bridge was placed out of service in 2015 due to structural issues. The bridge is currently closed to traffic, and preliminary engineering has begun to initiate design of the new bridge. 

For more details on the project and/or to submit comments, please click here.

 
Public Comments for these projects will be accepted until the close of business on August 16, 2019
SC's Transportation Needs are Growing, What's Important to You?
SCDOT is updating the Long-Range Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan (MTP) to address South Carolina's growing transportation needs – and they need to hear from you!  This is an excellent opportunity to provide feedback on the transportation trends and issues that impact you, your business, and community the most.  Please take a moment to complete the short, interactive survey found here. 
SCDOT Highlights Paving Projects 
Take a look at the completed projects, current projects, and future projects in Greenville County.  Seeing is believing!   #PuttingYourMoneytoWork #FixingSCRoads
Dorchester County Considering Annual Fee for Roads
Vehicle owners registered in Dorchester County may be charged an additional $25 annually to help pay for road maintenance. 

Discussion on the issue first surfaced publicly during the council’s meeting Monday; first reading of the ordinance passed, in title only, by a vote of 5-2. The fee ordinance would require a public hearing and the council’s approval of two more readings to become law. Council has currently referred the item to the Public Works Committee to study it further and make a recommendation.

The motor vehicle user fee would be used to cover costs of repairs for county-owned roads both inside and outside of incorporated areas. None of the fee’s revenue would go to the state or be used to pay for state-owned roads.

If enacted, Dorchester would be the only county in the tri-county to impose such a fee. Neither Berkeley nor Charleston counties have a similar one. (A similar ordinance is also pending in Anderson County.) Read the full story from the Journal Scene here
US Senate Committee Advances Infrastructure Funding Legislation 
The Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee July 30 unanimously approved America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), bipartisan legislation introduced on July 29. If enacted, the measure would significantly increase funds for highway and bridge improvements from FY 2021 through FY 2025. 

Investment in traditional core highway accounts would increase by 17 percent in FY 2021 over FAST Act reauthorization levels, and $259 billion would be distributed by formula to the states.   A substantial boost to freight improvements is also outlined in ATIA, providing $13.93 billion over five years for existing freight formula and discretionary grant programs.

A new discretionary grant program to improve the nation’s bridge conditions would invest $6.53 billion over five years, and funding for the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program would continue at $300 million each year with expanded eligibility for airport and transit-oriented development projects, among other activities.

The measure also would codify President Trump’s “One Federal Decision” Executive Order, in an effort to accelerate project delivery by consolidating permitting decisions into one single environmental document set by a federal “lead” agency, with a goal of completing the environmental review process by an average two-year timeframe.

Many business and industry groups, including ARTBA, have praised the action of the Committee and say the bill is a first step forward towards a long-term reauthorization bill. ARTBA released a summary of the legislation earlier this week, which can be found here. 

Source: Senate Committee Unanimously Advances Legislation to Increase Investment in Highway and Bridge Programs, ARTBA Newsline 07/30/19.  Read the article in its entirety here.
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