Skip to main content

SC Infrastructure Bank Awards Monies

The SC Infrastructure bank was very creative in how it awarded $174 million of the possible $300 million in road funds yesterday. As a result, most of the requested projects will receive some funding from the infrastructure bank.

First, the bank loaned $93 million to the South Carolina DOT to widen a deadly stretch of US 17. The loan is to cover the contracts for widening 5.5 miles of a 22 mile stretch of the deadly highway. The state has until September 1st to award the construction contracts. Since this is a loan, the $93 million does not go against the $300 million total. Note: The loan can extend up to $221 million.

Second, Horry County will receive $40 million of the requested $150 million towards right-of-way acquisition for the final phase of the Carolina Bays Parkway. (SC 707 to SC 544) The awarding of the $40 million is contingent on Horry County residents approving a once cent sales taxes for highway construction this fall.

Third, $99 million was awarded to Charleston County for right-of-way and design projects for the proposed extension of I-526. The other Charleston related project - an access road from I-26 to the Port of Charleston - was denied. Charleston County has already gained approval for a 1/2 cent sales tax for road construction.

Also, the state awared Mount Pleasant $5 million to buy land at the intersection of I-526 and US 17.

Finally, the state awarded Aiken County $30 million to cover cost increases for I-520. The county had requested $50 million.

Anderson County which had requested funds for widening projects had previously withdrawn their application.

Articles: Infrastrcutre Bank doles out money for highway projects --Associated Press
Tax would net S.C. 31 funds
---Myrtle Beach Sun News

Commentary:

The remaining $126 million can be rewarded at a later date or can be rolled over into a bigger pot for future needs. The bank was creative in awarding money and also in spreading out the funds. The $93 million, and possibly $221 million, loan to the SCDOT means that there will be more funds incoming to the bank.

I agree that the most pressing issue is the US 17 widening. In the past nine years, 34 people have died as a result of wrecks on that stretch of highway. In North Carolina, US 601 in Union County -- from Monroe (US 74) to the SC Line -- is similar with the amount of deaths on that highway.

The Bank awarded money for r-o-w and design projects. Their main concern was allowing the counties and state the chance to purchase land before rising real estate costs would get to far ahead of what could be affordable.

The next thing to watch is Horry County and the passing of a referrendum for a one cent county sales tax to provide transportation funding. The tax, which is currently going through the process of getting on the fall ballot, would provide funds for an estimated $425 million in transportation projects. Similar measures have beeen voted down by residents in the past.

Even if the tax vote falls short, the $40 million for Horry County could still be received as the bank stated that they would accept other methods of obtaining the local match in funding.

Previous Entries:
SC: State Committee Sees Carolina Bays Parkway Up Close.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paper Highways: The Unbuilt New Orleans Bypass (Proposed I-410)

  There are many examples around the United States of proposed freeway corridors in urban areas that never saw the light of day for one reason or another. They all fall somewhere in between the little-known and the infamous and from the mundane to the spectacular. One of the more obscure and interesting examples of such a project is the short-lived idea to construct a southern beltway for the New Orleans metropolitan area in the 1960s and 70s. Greater New Orleans and its surrounding area grew rapidly in the years after World War II, as suburban sprawl encroached on the historically rural downriver parishes around the city. In response to the development of the region’s Westbank and the emergence of communities in St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes as viable suburban communities during this period, regional planners began to consider concepts for new infrastructure projects to serve this growing population.  The idea for a circular freeway around the southern perimeter of t

Hernando de Soto Bridge (Memphis, TN)

The newest of the bridges that span the lower Mississippi River at Memphis, the Hernando de Soto Bridge was completed in 1973 and carries Interstate 40 between downtown Memphis and West Memphis, AR. The bridge’s signature M-shaped superstructure makes it an instantly recognizable landmark in the city and one of the most visually unique bridges on the Mississippi River. As early as 1953, Memphis city planners recommended the construction of a second highway bridge across the Mississippi River to connect the city with West Memphis, AR. The Memphis & Arkansas Bridge had been completed only four years earlier a couple miles downriver from downtown, however it was expected that long-term growth in the metro area would warrant the construction of an additional bridge, the fourth crossing of the Mississippi River to be built at Memphis, in the not-too-distant future. Unlike the previous three Mississippi River bridges to be built the city, the location chosen for this bridge was about two

Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (Memphis, TN)

  Like the expansion of the railroads the previous century, the modernization of the country’s highway infrastructure in the early and mid 20th Century required the construction of new landmark bridges along the lower Mississippi River (and nation-wide for that matter) that would facilitate the expected growth in overall traffic demand in ensuing decades. While this new movement had been anticipated to some extent in the Memphis area with the design of the Harahan Bridge, neither it nor its neighbor the older Frisco Bridge were capable of accommodating the sharp rise in the popularity and demand of the automobile as a mode of cross-river transportation during the Great Depression. As was the case 30 years prior, the solution in the 1940s was to construct a new bridge in the same general location as its predecessors, only this time the bridge would be the first built exclusively for vehicle traffic. This bridge, the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge, was completed in 1949 and was the third