Progress on road projects funded by gas tax

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Gas prices in South Carolina have gone up 2 percent since July 1st from the gas tax. The extra money is going toward improving South Carolina's roads over the next 10 years.

It's been two years and less than 10 percent of the work is done and people must be pretty upset about this.

It could be even more noticeable as more people are on the roads for the holiday.

SCDOT told News 12 roads have been neglected for decades and while they're finally catching up on work, it's taking a long time.

If you drive on South Carolina roads you're paying more at the pump. It is a part of a gas tax the state implemented in 2017 to raise money to improve roads.

“The gas tax? Who voted on that? Not me,” said John Gleason, a North Augusta resident.

Even the department of transportation admits South Carolina roadways have been neglected for years. But it's been two years, and Gleason doesn't see his extra tax dollars at work.

“They come out and throw a little bit of tar on there, next rain, it washes back out again,” said Gleason.

In Aiken County, SCDOT says there are more than 73 miles of road that need to be paved using gas tax money. But in the last couple of years, crews have only finished about 10 and a half miles.

SCDOT said that "due to decades of underfunding, we have a backlog of over $11 billion in roads that need paving. It will take time to fix the roads."

“Just fix it. No excuses, do it,” said Gleason.

But John Gleason knows that's a bumpy road.

“What can you do? The only thing we can do is send emails to the city,” said Gleason.

Which he says his wife has done many times and they do respond, but the Gleason's don't get the results they're looking for.

SCDOT is only 2 years into a 10-year plan but if you think Aiken County is moving slow, we crunched the numbers for you and this really puts it into perspective. We found Aiken County is actually farther along than most and crews here have only finished 10 percent.

Click here for a list of the road projects.