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Anderson County which had requested funds for widening projects had previously withdrawn their application.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

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

History of the Wawona Road (Yosemite National Park)

Recently I located a portion of the Old Wawona Road that was the original alignment used by wagons and early cars to get to Yosemite Valley from the south before the Wawona Tunnel was built.  Locating the Old Wawona Road was the primary driving force to head to a very dry Yosemite National Park this winter.






Generally I don't talk about the history of a route first, but in the case of the Wawona Road I thought it was particularly important to do so first.  The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the north terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley.  A good chunk of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road which generally is considered to be the easiest route...that certainly was not always the case.

The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel.  The first structure in the Wawona Hotel complex dates back to 1876 which was built by the Wa…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…