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South Carolina’s Embarrassing Roads




sicBy Will Folks  ||  My website has written extensively in the past about South Carolina’s terrible, rotten, no-good infrastructure – documenting repeatedly how the problem has nothing to do with resources and everything to do with politics.

For an in-depth treatment of the problem, CLICK HERE.  And for an in-depth look at why “more money” isn’t the answer, CLICK HERE.

The solution?  Simple: If South Carolina’s state government would just stop blowing billions of dollars on non-essential items – including non-essential roads and bridges – then it might have the money it needs to build and maintain essential items (including vital infrastructure priorities).

This stuff isn’t hard, people … figure out the things government should do, then fund them commensurately.

Obviously I’m one of those rabid small “L” libertarians, but even I understand construction and maintenance of roads and bridges is a public responsibility – which means it’s one of those few things I think the taxpayers should  be on the hook for.

The only problem is government – especially state government in South Carolina – is the absolute worst when it comes to prioritizing needs and resources.  Which is why taxpayers keep pumping more money into government, only to see diminishing returns on core functions like roads and bridges.

Cross into South Carolina on any interstate and the difference is immediately, abundantly clear.  In North Carolina and Georgia the interstates are evenly paved, clean and well-maintained.  In South Carolina?  The grass is up to your mirror, there’s trash everywhere and oh yeah … you’re in for a bumpy ride.

This weekend my family crossed into South Carolina from North Carolina on a rural two-lane back road – and the difference between the two highways was like night and day.  The North Carolina rural highway was smooth, trash-free and neatly manicured.

The South Carolina highway?  It looked (and felt) like something that belonged in an impoverished third world country … which now that I stop and think about it …

Look, this website has crunched the numbers.  It has broken down the unusually large size of South Carolina’s state-maintained system of roads, the exorbitant costs per mile taxpayers spend on the system and the ongoing lack of prioritization regarding specific projects.

(Ahem … I-526 and I-73).

But you don’t have to memorize the facts and figures of the latest S.C. Policy Council memo to know something’s wrong … it’s painfully obvious to anyone who’s driven in one of our neighboring states.

Will Folks is the founding editor of the website you are currently reading.