COMMENTARY: Infrastructure Law Boom for S.C.

South Carolina’s aging infrastructure is in need of repair that will set future generations up for success. The recently passed bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will do just that by investing in our critical infrastructure needs to ensure our state is able to support continued population growth in our major metro areas as well as deliver the basic services currently lacking in rural parts of the state.

Altogether, South Carolina is set to receive an estimated $6 billion worth of investments from the bipartisan infrastructure law that Sen. Lindsey Graham helped pass. These federal funds will help enhance, improve and modernize our state’s entire infrastructure.

Of course, that includes funding to fix up, repair and replace our aging roads, highways, and bridges. It also will help modernize infrastructure at our state’s airports and ports — which, given the importance of the South Carolina Ports Authority to regional and state economic development efforts, represents a critical investment in our overall economy. Most notable though is the way this funding will move America’s into the 21st century using innovative technologies so we can adapt and remain competitive while improving quality of life in cities and towns of all sizes across the state.

South Carolina expects to receive $510 million to strengthen and improve our water infrastructure, helping ensure clean, safe drinking water for South Carolinian communities as well as $21.3 million to fund five major water infrastructure projects. Additionally, we’ll receive up to $100 million for broadband expansion, which will help strengthen rural communities by opening up new opportunities for employment and education for residents while helping rural businesses expand their reach and be more competitive in an increasingly global market.

Further, South Carolina will be able to better transition to a cleaner, more sustainable economy by advancing a number of clean energy initiatives, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure as well as in safe, sustainable transportation. Our state’s public transportation system will be revamped through the $366 million investment that will increase transit options and expanding economic opportunities for South Carolinians while also providing eco-friendly alternatives. In fact, the City of Rock Hall has been allocated more than $2.8 million to buy electric buses that will reduce emissions as well as operations and maintenance costs.

This is also a generation bill that is specifically funding climate resiliency programs which will go a long way in safeguarding the southern part of our state’s coastline from rising sea levels. These investments will be critical in helping address and mitigate the impact of climate change on South Carolina communities.

Altogether, the bipartisan infrastructure law provides much-needed funding that will allow South Carolina to address critical infrastructure needs—both in rural regions where infrastructure funding has decreased as local populations have declined, as well as in metro areas where infrastructure has struggled to keep up with explosive, sustained population growth. In short, South Carolinians can expect an overhaul of our overtaxed, underperforming infrastructure systems.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of South Carolina believes implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is going to help create good-paying jobs, spur economic growth, and improve the quality of life in communities across the state.

We are immensely thankful to Sen. Graham for his hard work to get the infrastructure law across the finish line, and hopeful that state legislators will take full advantage of the opportunities for advancement that this legislation provides.

Published by: The Times and Democrat

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