South Carolina’s roadways are known as the best at being the worst. The state holds first place for the highest road fatality rate in the nation. Lack of infrastructure investment over time has allowed SC’s roads to crumble, resulting in hazardous conditions for motorists.
This legislative session, however, SC lawmakers voted to raise the state’s motor fuel user fee for the first time since 1987. The increased funding will provide SCDOT with the means to begin addressing the prevalence of highway fatalities.
The first step? Repairing dangerous rural roadways – as approximately 58% of traffic fatalities in the state occur on rural roads.
Due to the promise of increased funding, SCDOT has rolled out their Rural Roads Safety Program. Secretary Hall has stated that the program will target the “worst of the worst roads in our state.”
The department ranked roadways by prevalence of fatal and serious injury, run-off-road crashes, and average daily traffic. The data yielded 1,957 miles of rural road in desperate need of repair and tailor-fit solutions. Modifications will include engineering solutions to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadways, including rumble strips and wider shoulders.
SCDOT is providing public notification Phase -I of the Off-interstate Rural Road Safety Program. The comprehensive proposed project priority list provides details of 29 rural roads in 25 counties.
Phase I includes the first 500 miles of the 2000 miles of rural roads where 5% of the deadliest crashes occur. Improvement projects will be broken down into 10-mile segments, and Phase I expected to be complete in three-to-four years. The entire 2,000-mile project is expected to be complete in 10 years.
Pending consideration of public comments and based on available funding, the projects will be recommended for inclusion in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
If you would like to make a comment regarding the recommendations, you may fill out SCDOT’s Email Form. Comments will be accepted until the close of business on July 11, 2017.
While South Carolina’s infrastructure crisis will not be alleviated overnight, SCDOT is hard at work addressing the state’s most critical issues.
SCDOT.org and SCDOT’s Rural Road Safety Presentation.
“Deadly Midlands Road Top Target for New Gas Tax Money” by Cassie Cope, The State.