SCDOT plans to use federal COVID relief money to pay off millions in debt

Source: Live 5
Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation is trying to figure out what to do with more than $160 million from the federal government. The money comes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act which was passed in December 2020.

“We have a unique opportunity with the CRRSAA to do some things that should benefit the agency for the long term,” SCDOT Deputy Secretary Justin Powell said.

This week, the SCDOT Commission agreed to use a large chunk of the money to pay off SCDOT’s approximately $142 million in debt. Powell said once the debt is paid off, they will be able to stop paying the banks and start paying for construction and therefore start some major road projects in the state.

“The I-526 project in Charleston and the interchange and widening there has a price tag of about $4 to $6 billion dollars, so by cleaning up the balance sheet and advancing funds toward interstates we can do that,” he added. “This places SCDOT in best possible position to deliver the I-526 widening project.”

There will be more discussions in the future on how exactly to use the rest of the money. You can read more about the widening project by clicking: here.

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