Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund (Roads Bill)
SCDOT has mapped out a decade-long plan designed to rebuild decayed roads and replace structurally deficient bridges all across the state. 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.
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. The New funding will enable a higher target of replacing 465 bridges over the next ten years. SCDOT considers the hallmark of the 10-year plan to be the rebuilding and resurfacing of the roads in the state.
SCDOT will make periodic reports on the progress of the 10-year plan as revenue accumulates and plans that SCDOT engineers have been preparing for rebuilding projects move forward to construction.