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An Update on Critical Funding for SC’s Roads and Bridges.

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Presentation on theme: "An Update on Critical Funding for SC’s Roads and Bridges."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Update on Critical Funding for SC’s Roads and Bridges

2 The South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads We are a non-partisan, non-profit group dedicated to advocating for critical highway funding. Our goal is to maintain a safe and efficient transportation infrastructure in South Carolina in order to promote continued growth and social progress in South Carolina. Who is SCFOR?

3 Member Breakdown 38 Independent Businesses 30 Local Chambers of Commerce 17 State-wide Trade Associations Safety advocates Petroleum providers Highways industry associations Agriculture associations Trucking associations Tourism associations Who is SCFOR?

4 Where We Stand South Carolina has: The 4 th largest highway system in the country The 3 rd lowest motor fuel user fee in the country Below average road conditions Over 1,600 bridges in need of repair or replacement A growing economy with growing infrastructure demands

5 SC highways have been neglected for far too long We must keep up with new growth Current funding sources cannot keep pace in our changing society The needs are increasing and the funding must be diversified. The Problem

6 The Department of Transportation needs over $1.4B each year in additional funding to bring South Carolina highways to a “good” level of service. Without that funding, they can only “manage the continued decline of the system.” Current Conditions

7 Comparison of SC Pavement Conditions 2013 Pavement Conditions 2014 Pavement Conditions Without increased funding, the system will continue to rapidly decline

8 Current Conditions The 2014 South Carolina Rural Roads Report by TRIP points out that South Carolina has the most dangerous rural roads of any state in the US, at a rate of “3.99 deaths for every 100 million miles of vehicle travel.”

9 19% (1,624) are “substandard” 849 are structurally deficient – structurally in poor condition 775 are functionally obsolete – cannot meet traffic demands Average age of 43 years Current Conditions Of South Carolina’s 8,416 bridges: 1 out of 3 bridges is rated below “good”

10 Costs of Construction Our roads are our biggest asset and represent an investment of $320 billion dollars. Preserve 50 Lane Miles Rehabilitate 8 Lane Miles Reconstruct 5 Lane Miles For the same $1 Million, we can either: As the system declines, the cost to improve it is rising.

11 SC had 764 fatal accidents in 2013 Road conditions were a major factor in 1 of 3 SC fatalities per miles traveled is 50% above the national rate Crashes cost the state $3.3B/yr in Medical, workplace, insurance, and legal costs Lost productivity Travel delays Conditions Affecting Our Safety Over 1,500 insurance claims against SCDOT since 2010 $18.7 million paid for these claims

12 Our Need for Capacity SC tied for fastest growing economy on the east coast 43% increase in SC traffic since ,000 new drivers are added to SC roads each year Charleston is fastest growing of U.S. Top 10 Container Ports 2,577 additional secondary road miles 471 additional primary road miles 445 additional Interstate miles

13 Together, SC Drivers lose 18,661,827 hours every year sitting in traffic These hours equal: 5.3 hours/yr per licensed driver 2,130 years total SCDOT estimates a $397M loss in economic activity due to congestion in 2011 That could pay for:More than all SC bridge repair/replacement and highway resurfacing costs over a 10 year period Costs of Capacity Limitations

14 Funding is Falling Behind 90% of SCDOT’s state revenues come from the user fee on motor fuel GA spends $150,000 per road mile NC spends $35,000 per road mile SC spends only $15,000 per road mile 49% of state highway funding across the Southeast comes from fuel user fees

15 Motor Fuel User Fee The motor fuel user fee in SC has not been increased since 1987 and is not structured to adjust with inflation The motor fuel user fee is fair, easy to administer, and over 30% is paid by out-of-state drivers We need to increase and diversify our revenue sources 37.8¢ in NC 28.5¢ in GA 16.8¢ in SC The SC motor fuel user fee is significantly lower than our sister states

16 State Action on Motor Fuel User Fee (May 2014) 25+ yrs without increasing feeIncreased fee within past 5 years *

17 Current User Fee Payments *SC Average is only $40.97

18 Public Opinion: Winthrop Poll Would you support or oppose an increase in the gas tax with the new gas tax money going to improve roads and bridges? Support: 50.5% Would you support or oppose this new gas tax if it meant an extra $1 to $2 for a typical fill-up? Support: 61.7% Oppose: 37% Unsure/No Answer: 1.3% Oppose: 47.6% Unsure/No Answer: 1.9% Each driver already pays $255/yr for driving on poor roads We could invest at the pump and improve our safety, economy, and commute

19 Funding Options Increase the existing motor fuel user fee Index the motor fuel user fee Transfer motor vehicle related fees Remove/reduce the sales tax exemption on motor fuel Dedicate General or Capital Reserve Fund money to highways Tax alternative fuel vehicles

20 Alternative Fuel Vehicles If 3 cars drove across every state road in South Carolina… Sedan would pay $ in motor fuel user fees Hybrid would pay $ in motor fuel user fees Electric vehicle would pay $0.00 in motor fuel user fees The motor fuel user fee allows drivers to pay for upkeep as well as their use of signage, pavement, and safety measures – however, drivers don’t pay equally to cover these costs

21 An investment in infrastructure is an investment in economic development and quality of life. A Little Goes a Long Way $1 billion invested in roads $3.4 billion in GDP Over 28,500 jobs These savings come from reduced Vehicle, road, and bridge maintenance costs Traffic delays Fuel consumption and standing traffic emissions Motor vehicle crashes $1 invested in transportation = $5.20 in driver savings

22 Road Map Plan/$6B Need SCFOR worked with other organizations to create a “Road Map to the Future” for South Carolina If fully implemented, the Road Map to the Future would: Create over 170,000 new jobs Add $20.4 billion to the state GDP Interstate Expansion$2.8 billion Bridges$2.0 billion Resurfacing$1.2 billion Total$6.0 billion This 10 year plan prioritizes funding needs as:

23 Consequences of Inaction If we do nothing, in 25 years we will: Pay 3x the amount to fix what we could have maintained Spend even more hours in traffic Forfeit growth Miss billions in economic opportunities Continue to lose lives on poor roads

24 2013 Legislative Actions $500 Million Bonding for roads and bridges through $50 Million allocated per year in recurring revenues $41 Million Recurring vehicle sales tax transferred to Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund $50 Million General Assembly funding allocation for bridges $591 Million for Highway Funding

25 Road Map Current Position We are moving forward but have a long way to go to reach $6B. 10% was accomplished in 2013

26 Your Actions 2014 is an Election Year The greatest opportunity in 2014 is to elect officials who will take the lead on transportation/infrastructure issues Take the time to: Educate others about road funding needs Contact your legislators at Write an editorial in your local paper Share our video regarding transportation and infrastructure funding in SC Uniting together is the only way to improve our roads

27 Speak Out and Tell Us! Share your thoughts and pictures at

28 Questions?

29 Sources The information in this outline is largely pulled from: “Transportation Infrastructure Task Force: Final Report” published by SCDOT, December 6, 2012 “South Carolina’s Road Map to the Future” published jointly by the SC Chamber of Commerce, SC Manufacturers Alliance, SC Forestry Association, Carolinas AGC, Palmetto Agribusiness Council, SC Alliance to Fix Our Roads, SC Trucking Association, SC Farm Bureau, Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center, SC Asphalt Pavement Association “Getting to Good” published by SCDOT and presented by Robert St. Onge, March 2013 “SCDOT-paid claims range from car damage to lost lives” written by Tim Smith and published on February 12, 2013 in the Greenville News Graphic information cards published by NC Go! “Bridges 101” published by SCDOT, October 2, 2013 “Are Good Roads & Transit Worth as Much as Cable and Telephone Service?” and public opinion poll published by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, 2013 “Needing Money for Roads, States Mull Gas Tax Hike” graphics developed by Frank Pompa at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and published by USA TODAY on March 11, 2014 “South Carolina Rural Roads Release” published by TRIP, July 10, 2014 For these or other related articles, please contact SCFOR at (803) or visit our website at


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