COVID-19 resulted in a loss of $29.6 million for SCDOT in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. While we don’t consider any loss of revenue something to celebrate, the good news is, this figure is much lower than the initial May estimate of $78 million.
The main drivers of the reduction stem from traffic decline; however, traffic steadily increased as the state reopened. People have also continued to buy cars, which helped soften the blow.
Due to the SCDOT’s austerity measures to reduce internal expenses, cash remains steady. Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall has also implemented a budget cut of 12% for the internal operating budget for FY20-21. This reduction affects administrative items only, and keeping road and bridge projects moving forward remains a top priority.
To date, no projects have been delayed due to financial concerns. Moving forward, SCDOT will continue to align projects with revenue receipts.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on every aspect of the economy. Despite the fact that South Carolina has been able to keep road and bridge projects going, infrastructure is not immune to the impacts of this virus. While the duration and true impacts remain unknown, SCFOR will continue to follow the financial impacts and projections. Roads and bridges keep our economy moving; therefore, they will play a critical role in the state’s economic recovery.