Transportation Makes South Carolina Work!


South Carolina’s Economy, Quality of Life & Security Depend on Our Transportation Infrastructure

What We Invest in Our Roads & Bridges (South Carolina)

What We Invest in Our Roads & Bridges

The average South Carolina motorist pays 98¢ per day in highway user fees to build and maintain our state’s roads and bridges.

  • 42 cents/day through the state gas tax
  • 37 cents/day through the federal gas tax
  • 12 cents/day through motor vehicle ownership state fees
  • 0 cents/day in tolls
LandlinesCell phonesCableInternetElectricityand GasUser Fees& Taxes050100150200Road & Bridge Inv…Television and Inte…Electricity and GasPhone ServicesMonthly Household Spending
ExpenditureLandlinesCell phonesCableInternetElectricity and GasUser Fees & Taxes
Road & Bridge Investment29.71
Television and Internet65.4488.17
Electricity and Gas151.26
Phone Services61.8891.33

The average South Carolina household spends 5 times more per month for land line and cell phone service than it invests to build and maintain the roads and bridges we use.

South Carolina spends $180 a year per capita on road and bridge capital improvements. South Carolina ranks #42 among all U.S. states in this important category. Here’s how we compare to our neighbors:

$0$75$150$225$300North CarolinaGeorgiaSouth Carolina
StatesCapital SpendingCapital Spending
North Carolina$268.18
South Carolina$180.48

Driving on poor roads costs the average South Carolina motorist $306 per year in vehicle repairs and wasted fuel.

How Our Money is Spent (South Carolina)

How Our Money is Spent

This is How the South Carolina Transportation Department Spends Our Highway User Money
Capital OutlaysBonds & Debt ServiceMaintenanceAdmin & ResearchLaw Enforcement8.4%23.9%56.6%
Grants to Local Govts1,610,000
Law Enforcement127,199,000
Admin & Research101,980,000
Bonds & Debt Service65,675,000
Capital Outlays861,775,000

This is How We Compare to Neighboring States

CapitalOutlaysMaintenanceAdmin &ResearchLawEnforcementGrants toLocal GovtsBonds & DebtServiceSouth CarolinaGeorgiaNorth Carolina0%20%40%60%
StateCapital OutlaysMaintenanceAdmin & ResearchLaw EnforcementGrants to Local GovtsBonds & Debt Service
South Carolina57%24%7%8%4%
North Carolina59%18%6%8%3%6%

Source of Funding for South Carolina’s Annual Road & Bridge Capital Investment Budget
Over the Past 10 Years


How South Carolina Invests Its Federal Highway Funds

Pedestrian & Bike PathsCapital Outlays and SafetyOther Outlays17%82%
Pedestrian & Bike Paths0.01
Planning & Research
Capital Outlays and Safety0.82
Other Outlays0.17

The federal gas and diesel fuel taxes we pay supported $8 billion in road and bridge work in South Carolina just over the past 10 years, including $1.5 billion to improve our share of the nation’s Interstate Highway System.

Employment & Tax Impact (South Carolina)

Employment & Tax Impact

South Carolina Jobs & Tax Base Supported by Transportation Infrastructure Investment Investments in South Carolina’s transportation infrastructure supports…

49,580 full time jobs in the state—more than 50% non-construction related.  These South Carolina residents earn $1.7 billion annually and contribute $318 million in local, state, and federal taxes.

918,723 full time jobs in the state in key industries like tourism, trucking, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.  These South Carolina residents earn $32 billion annually and contribute $5.8 billion in state taxes.

State of Our Roads & Bridges (South Carolina)

State of Our Roads & Bridges

2,536 miles of South Carolina’s major roads — nearly the equivalent of driving Gaffney to Bend, Oregon — are in poor condition.
Driving on poor roads costs the average South Carolina motorist $306 per year in vehicle repairs and wasted fuel.
1,004 bridges in South Carolina are classified as structurally deficient. This means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in “poor” or worse condition by government inspectors. These bridges are crossed 3.1 million times each day.
Placed end-to-end, there are 27 miles of structurally deficient bridges in South Carolina. 640 of these bridges have weight restrictions in place.

State and local governments in South Carolina spent $429 million on bridge repair and construction contracts over the past five years.

Sources: ARTBA analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Employment and tax information from ARTBA’s 2015 U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Profile. 

Updated June 2016