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    Are contractors tied up on other projects?

State lags in repairing bad roads, bridges

Less than half of Lexington County roads repaired

By RICK BRUNDRETT

Special to the Chronicle

The state has spent  $15.6 million repairing Lexington County roads.

Those are state roads only and represent 42.6% of promised county paving projects.

The money comes from increased gas taxes and other vehicle fees.

State roads in Columbia and Richland County have received $15.7 million in repairs.

That's 43.6% of the repairs needed and promised.

The pace of fixing pothole-riddled roads should have increased over the summer.

It didn't.

Department of Transportation records show less than half of estimated projects were done.

As of Sept. 30, 29 of the state’s 46 counties didn’t break the 50% mark.

DOT continues to sit on $626.5 million collected since the gas-tax-hike law took effect in 2017.

That's more than 43% of the $1.44 billion in collected revenues.

The 10 highest-paid road contractors with gas-tax-hike revenues each received millions more.

This raised questions about whether the contractors were tied up on other projects.

In raising the state gas tax 12 cents a gallon over 6 years and other vehicle taxes, lawmakers promised the funds would be used to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

DOT has said 80% of the state’s 42,000 miles of roads need resurfacing or rebuilding.

It identified 465 out of 750 “structurally deficient” bridges to be replaced.

But as of Sept. 30, DOT had identified 3,773 miles of “pavements” projects in the state’s 46 counties, which represented only 11% of the miles needing to be resurfaced or rebuilt.

DOT earmarked $258.6 million, or 17%, for interstate widenings – not repairing bad roads and bridges.

Brundrett is the news editor of The Nerve (www.thenerve.org). Contact him at 803-254-4411 or rick@thenerve.org

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