Columbia, S.C. — The first contract to build South Carolina bridges using ACT 98 funding has been awarded and construction will begin in coming weeks, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). The SCDOT Commission on Thursday, June 19, 2014, approved the contract for the first four of approximately 90 bridges that will be replaced across South Carolina using Act 98 funding.
Act 98 was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley on June 24, 2013, after the legislation was passed by the General Assembly. Act 98 provided SCDOT additional funding for bridge, resurfacing and mainline interstate projects. Since the passage of ACT 98, SCDOT has worked diligently to advance the newly funded projects towards construction.
SCDOT received a non-recurring appropriation of $50 million to be used as the state match requirement for the federal-aid bridge program.
"The additional funding for our bridges from ACT 98 will result in a significant benefit to South Carolina," said Secretary of Transportation Janet P. Oakley. "We are working to replace load restricted or closed bridges across the state with this funding. These new bridges will improve safety and help local economies, where bridge restrictions have cause detours for truck traffic as well as emergency services."
"We would like to thank the Governor, the General Assembly and the SCDOT Commission for their efforts to improve infrastructure in South Carolina," Oakley said.
SCDOT Deputy Secretary for Engineering Christy Hall the first four bridges are located in Oconee and Pickens counties. She said the timber pile bridges will be replaced with precast concrete bridges. Constructions schedules have not yet been determined.
Hall said that as of June 1, SCDOT engineers have determined the agency has 1,616 substandard bridges; 407 load restricted bridges; and 12 closed bridges. There are a total of 8,420 bridges maintained by SCDOT.
SCDOT Commission Chairman W. B. Cook, of the 5th Congressional District, said the ACT 98 funds will not only fund approximately 90 new bridges, but also allow other substandard bridges to move up on the list to be replaced.
"We're putting this money to good use all across South Carolina," Cook said. "This is certainly some positive news for our highway system."