To the Contrary

State must fix road problems

As the nation's infrastructure requires new assets for expansion and repair, so does South Carolina's. In this state, the need for a greater commitment of resources has been apparent for years. ...

South Carolina is far behind on road maintenance and construction, as well as bridge replacement. And the state's support for mass transit projects, such as commuter rail, is so minuscule as to be virtually nonexistent.

But this year, the most that can be expected at the state level is an additional $10 million allocation from the sales tax on motor vehicles. More help will be needed.

The DOT is focusing on repairing existing problems rather than building new roads. Millions already have been saved by cost-cutting measures by (Transportation Secretary H.B. "Buck") Limehouse, who hopes to demonstrate the agency's improved capacity to handle its responsibilities. ...

More help is needed on the federal front. But barring some sudden change in federal priorities, South Carolina would be ill-advised to await a comprehensive solution from Congress.

The Legislature should be prepared to address the funding needs for roads and bridges more substantially next year -- whether or not gasoline is $3 a gallon.