The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will significantly benefit South Carolina’s transportation network.
The bill provides certainty when it comes to planning, and more importantly, significant increases in funding over the next five years. South Carolina is poised to increase federal highway funds from $733 million to over $1 billion through the IIJA. In addition to these dollars, there are also specific allocations to states that must be used for bridges and electric vehicle infrastructure.
The SCDOT Commission held a workshop and monthly meeting back in October to assess the impacts that the federal funding will have on the state and determine how the funds should be utilized to boost the state’s transportation program. Based on the data presented, the IIJA will allow South Carolina to ramp up investments across several categories aimed at filling gaps in the existing program and improving the system for all modes and users.
The legislature’s actions in 2017 have put us on the road to repair. However, we still face challenges that Act 40 was not intended to address. A recent report found that Act 40 has given the state the ability to make significant progress on repairs, but additional resources are needed to address the needs of our growing state.
These federal dollars offer a timely opportunity to help South Carolina boost investments to the state’s 10-year plan and address needs, especially when it comes to traffic congestion, bridge repairs, pavements, safety, drainage, and more.
In order for South Carolina to fully utilize this historic federal investment and ultimately keep the state’s 10-year plan on track, additional recurring dollars at the state level will be required to meet match requirements.
Without these additional allocations from the legislature, over $750 million in federal funds due to South Carolina will be left on the table, and SCDOT would not be able to tap into the billions of dollars available through new discretionary grant programs. South Carolina cannot afford to leave any money on the table!