COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — South Carolina is set to receive about $6 billion in federal funds over the next five years from the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law Monday afternoon by President Joe Biden.
Most of that money will be used to improve the state’s roads and bridges. Roughly $4 billion will be sent to the state to maintain federal highways, while another $274 million will go toward replacing and repairing bridges.
According to federal officials, there are 1,700 bridges and more than 7,000 miles of highways that are currently in poor condition.
During a groundbreaking ceremony for the Carolina Crossroads project in Columbia last week, South Carolina Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said the money will go toward much-needed projects identified for the state back in 2013.
“This funding will come in and help deliver those projects,” Hall said. “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
Gov. Henry McMaster said last week that the money needs to be used in a way that does “the most good for the most people.”
“Whenever we get to spending money like that, we’ve got to be very careful,” he said. “I have concerns about that. 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.”