Six large road projects completed with sales tax program

  • Thursday, April 11, 2013

Completed large projects

– Palmetto Commerce Parkway/Phase 1
– Palmetto Commerce Parkway/Phase 2
– Improvements to Bee Street/Courtenay Drive intersection
– Improvements to Maybank Highway/Folly Road intersection
– Improvements to Glenn McConnell Parkway/I-526 intersection
– Improvements to area of U.S. Highway 17, S.C. Highway 61, Wesley Drive

Half a dozen large road projects have been completed using funds generated from the Transportation Sales Tax Program that was established in 2004.

There have been other smaller projects that also received completion thanks to the half-cent sales tax approved by voters. The referendum authorized Charleston County to issue $77 million in bonds for road projects and a $95 million bond for greenbelt conservation, all being repaid through Transportation Sales Tax revenues, according to RoadWise materials.

RoadWise is what the county calls its road-building program. Officials provided updates in a slideshow at its headquarters this past Tuesday morning.

The Johnnie Dodds Boulevard improvements project is “substantially complete,” according to Peter Valiquette, preconstruction manager of The LPA Group. Steve Thigpen, director of transportation development with the county, added that only “punchlist items” remain. It is expected to be finished by early May.

The sales tax program was approved to run for 25 years or until $1.303 billion is generated. The money is divvied up among road projects (65 percent), mass-transit (18 percent) and green space preservation (17 percent). During a previous study, analysts determined the program would likely generate around $1.25 billion over 25 years, according to officials at the news conference.

Larger projects are considered those that the county had to borrow money by issuing bonds. An annual allocation of $10.5 million is set aside for smalelr projects, which include resurfacing ($4 million), local paving ($2 million), intersection improvements ($2 million), county council and public works ($1 million), drainage ($1 million) and bike and pedestrian options ($0.5 million).

Jennie Davis Flinn, county public information ffficer, said the program operations reflected being “good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”

“Every project does impact a segment of the population,” she added.

About $288.458 million has been generated so far from the sales tax program, Flinn said. Of that total, $187.498 million went to transportation, $49.038 million to greenbelts and $51.922 million to transit.

“We’ve done quite a bit since 2004,” Cheryl Harleston, public and media information coordinator with RoadWise said. “And with only half a penny.”

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