With legislation to fund infrastructure and road repairs facing a slow slog in the state legislature, the chairman of the Charleston Metro Chamber is urging legislators to put "out-of-state influence and partisanship aside" to swiftly pass a bill.
"With each passing day, our roads and bridges fall further into disrepair," wrote Scott Woods, CPA, in a letter to state legislators this week. "We need less talk from the well of the Senate floor and more action."
Woods is also president and CEO of South Carolina Federal Credit Union.
He pointed to statistics presented earlier this year by state Transportation Secretary Christy Hall. According to that presentation, 80 percent of South Carolina's primary road system is in fair or poor condition. Those roads carry an estimated 50% of the state's traffic.
In addition, Hall's presentation showed that the state's secondary road system rates at nearly 85 percent fair or poor condition.
Woods said that the Charleston Metro Chamber's Infrastructure Visioning Task Force this year identified fifteen critical projects that "promote economic growth, facilitate freight movement, accommodate residential growth and preserve and enhance the quality of life."
The price tag of those priority projects, according to Woods, is more than $2.5 billion.
"We as business people and job creators have done our part to continue South Carolina's ascent, but we need support from the State House," added Woods.
He also noted that it the last time infrastructure funding was "thoroughly addressed" by the state legislature was 28 years ago under Governor Carroll Campbell.
"Roadways are a core function of government and how they are funded is not up to the citizens," concluded Woods. "They elect leaders with confidence they will make the right decisions to support progress
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