Gas tax implemented Saturday, SCDOT reveals some details of roads plan
Saturday is the day the new state gas tax goes into effect. On Thursday, the South Carolina Department of Transportation has issued a graphic showing road improvements in the Midlands.
According to the graphic, the interstate system around Columbia will be improved, including Malfunction Junction (I-126/I-26/I-20 interchange) in Columbia.
Click on SCDOT graphic to enlarge
Also included on the list is the announcement that 181 bridges will be replaced and the amount of resurfacing of roads will be doubled.
Widening will occur on I-20 at the Georgia line and safety features will be added to 18 “deadly corridors.”
Below is part of an SCDOT press release explaining a 10-year plan:
SCDOT has mapped out a decade-long plan designed to rebuild decayed roads and replace structurally deficient bridges all across the state. The foundation of this mission begins on Saturday, July 1. The Roads Bill passed by the General Assembly will become law on that day.
The state’s gas tax, currently one of the lowest in the nation, will increase for the first time since 1987. The increase effective July 1, 2017 will be 2 cents and will increase by another 2 cents each year for a total of 12 cents at the end of a six year period.
In addition, the vehicle sales tax will be raised on July 1 along with other vehicle related fees.
A new program that is being launched as part of the plan is the Rural Road Safety Program. South Carolina has the highest rural road fatality rate in the nation. In preparation for this program,
SCDOT traffic engineers have identified the rural roads that are the most dangerous.
Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said this program is aimed at the worst-of-the worst roads. “The research done by our engineers has revealed that 30% of our highway deaths occur on only 5% 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,” she said.
These targeted roads will see a variety of improvements as needed in each location. Among the improvements are the addition of rumble strips, guard rail, widening shoulders and building shoulders where there are none.