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$2.2 billion road plan would not build new roads

The damage is extensive to Wilson Boulevard/US-21 just past Hardscrabble Road in Columbia. Residents and local business owners are surprised the road has yet to be fixed since being damaged during last year's flood.
The damage is extensive to Wilson Boulevard/US-21 just past Hardscrabble Road in Columbia. Residents and local business owners are surprised the road has yet to be fixed since being damaged during last year's flood. gmelendez@thestate.com

The Senate Finance Committee will consider Wednesday whether to spend about $2.2 billion to fix congestion on heavily trafficked roads and to replace crumbling bridges.

None of the $2.2 billion in proposed spending could be used to build new roads or controversial proposed projects, including building Interstate 73 to Myrtle Beach or extending Interstate 526 in Charleston, a Senate subcommittee said Tuesday in signing off on the added spending.

The money would be raised by diverting revenue from some fees collected by the state Department of Motor Vehicles and the amount of money raised by the state’s $300 cap on vehicle sales taxes.

The proposals are sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, who also chairs the Finance Committee.

The moves would raise about $200 million a year, which would be bonded through the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank. That would allow the state to borrow about $2.2 billion for road projects, according to preliminary estimates.

Cassie Cope: 803-771-8657, @cassielcope

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