COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — South Carolina is set to receive billions of dollars in federal funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law by President Joe Biden Monday afternoon.
The state will get about $6 billion over the next five years.
Most of that money will be used to improve the state’s roads and bridges. A total of $4 billion will be sent to the state to maintain federal highways and another $274 million to replace and repair bridges.
According to federal officials, there are 1700 bridges and more than 7,000 miles of highways in poor condition right now.
During a groundbreaking ceremony for the Carolina Crossroads project in Columbia last week, South Carolina Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said the money will be used for much needed projects identified for the state back in 2013.
Hall said, “This funding will come in and help deliver those projects. In cooperation and coordination with our state funding. Not really changing priorities just helping fund some of those and maybe possibly enabling us to look at some projects in the future and pull them ahead slightly.”
The rest of the allocated money will be used for:
- $510 million to improve water infrastructure
- $161 million to upgrade airports
- $366 million to improve public transportation
- $70 million to support the expansion of an EV charging network
- $100 million at minimum to expand high speed broadband infrastructure, with additional funds provided based on the number of unserved locations in the state
- $18.3 million to protect against cyberattacks
Governor Henry McMaster spoke about the bill last week during the groundbreaking ceremony. He said the money needs to be used in a proper way and ‘do the most good for the most people.
“Whenever we get to spending money like that – we got to be very careful. I have concerns about that,” said Gov. McMaster. “When we put money into infrastructure that’s good. But when we waste money for things that are not critical or transformational or concrete for our future that’s where we make errors. I had concerns about that bill but it’s the law now.”