Gas tax increase to fund $17M in Horry County paving projects

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Starting July 1st, South Carolinians can expect to see gas tax rates go up again two cents. The two extra pennies paid at the gas pump in the state will fund the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s $562 million new pavement program.

Ten new projects are added to an existing list of road work in Horry County. SCDOT officials estimate $17 million will be allocated to resurfacing and rehabilitating county highways, two-way roads, and neighborhood streets.

Funding for the road projects will come from the surge in gas tax revenue. The two-cent increase comes from any person buying gas.

“Roads in South Carolina were starved for maintenance for 30 years,” SCDOT Director of Communications Pete Poore said. “For three decades there was not enough funding available to maintain the roads. There is a lot of damage out there.”

A Myrtle Beach tire shop owner says he sees the damage firsthand just about every day. The new plans could save his customers hundreds.

“They are everywhere, lots of potholes everywhere,” Chris Cribb, the owner of Harry’s Tire Service said.

Cribb says the damage from an un-surfaced road or potholes can cost some customers up to $150 to $200 depending on the tire and rim damage.

In addition to rebuilding roads, tax dollars will replace bridges and improve interstates.
Highway 544, Highway 90, and U.S. 701 will receive some of the pavement improvements. All are classified as reconstruction and rehabilitation.

SOURCE: South Carolina Department of Transportation

Six out of 10 projects are rehabilitation. The other four projects in the county are part of the state’s 42,000 miles that need resurfacing.

“Rehabilitation means the road is just crumbling so the asphalt is stripped off down to the soil. There is no asphalt left when they finish stripping it out, so basically they will start from scratch,” Poore said.

Over a billion dollars of work is taking place across the state. These projects today will be added onto the list as it’s part of a 10-year plan.

“We are not going to be able to resurface every road we need in 10 years but we hope the program will continue after 10 years and we will continue making that resurfacing a priority to repair all the damage all around the state,” Poore said.

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