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SCDOT’s 10-Year Bridge Program – On A Schedule That Rome Would Envy

From the SCDOT:

South Carolina Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall has announced that the SC Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has met its targets in Year #1 of the 10-Year Plan to Fix SC’s Roads and Bridges in the Bridge Replacement Program. The 10-Year Plan is the road map the agency is using for the new and sustainable revenue provided by the Roads Bill in 2017. The Plan has four major programs. Replacing load-restricted and structurally deficient bridges is one of them.

Hall said, “Our roads and bridges have been neglected for three decades due to a shortfall in funding. Our 10-Year Plan is the guide we will use to recover and restore the state’s highway system to good levels.”

Hall noted that SCDOT is responsible for 8,431 bridges in the state system. The vast majority of SC’s bridges (92%) are in good structural health. The 10-Year Plan is strategically targeting the remaining 8% of the state’s bridges that have weight limits placed upon them or are otherwise classified as structurally deficient on our major highways.

To accomplish this goal, SCDOT has doubled the funding allocated to bridge replacements. The 10-year goal is to replace 465 bridges in the restricted or deficient categories. As of Year #1, 51 bridge projects are currently under construction across the state. The plan for Year #2 is to have another 41 bridge replacements under construction in the next 12 months.

SCDOT encourages the public to review the agency’s progress of all projects in addition to those in the 10-Year Plan by using the “Project Viewer” on SCDOT’s “Public Involvement” website. The “Project Viewer” can be directly accessed using this link:


Ms. Hall fights an infrastructure battle as old as civilization itself. Consider the words from Sextus Julius Frontinus, who was appointed Rome’s water commissioner in 97 AD as he writes about the difficulties of infrastructure maintenance. Just for fun, whenever you read “aqueducts” just imagine “roads and bridges”.

The maintenance of the aqueducts is worthy of special care, as it gives the best testimony to the greatness of the Roman Empire. The numerous and extensive works are continually falling into decay, and they must be attended to before they begin to demand extensive repair.

Very often, it is best to exercise a wise restraint in attending to their upkeep since those who urge the construction or extension of the works cannot always be trusted. The water commissioner, therefore, not only ought to be provided with competent advisers but ought also to be equipped with practical experience of his own. He must consult not only the architects of his own office but must also seek aid from the trustworthy and thorough knowledge of numerous other persons in order to judge what must be taken in hand immediately, and what postponed, and again, what is to be carried out by public contractors and what by his own regular workmen.

The necessity of repairs arises from the following reasons: damage is done either by the lawlessness of abutting proprietors, by age, by violent storms, or by defects in the original construction.

Some will read this and conclude that things never change. The actions taken by Ms. Hall prove otherwise.

Meeting the first year goals in her 10 year bridge program shows a determination and insight into fixing problems not seen in earlier Transportation Secretaries. I suspect that her success stems from her extensive practical experience gained from working at SCDOT – a requirement noted by Frontinus in his essay. Frontinus governed Britain for 20 years before becoming Rome’s water commissioner. He was a proven effective leader before he was made guardian of Rome’s most valuable asset – the inflow of water into the city. Ms. Hall was a proven effective SCDOT leader before taking charge of it. My congratulations to her for this first year of success.