SCDOT Tallies Up $137M in Highway System Damage Costs From October Flood

AASHTO Journal, 11 December 2015

South Carolina’s interim transportation secretary, Christy Hall reported Dec. 3 that the damage costs to the state highway system as a result of the heavy October flooding has reached $137 million.

Hallsaid the federal share of that amounts to $88 million, while the state share of the damage costs total $49 million. Her report noted that funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have amounted to $25 million.

Separately, the USDOT said it was already sending South Carolina at least $10 million in new emergency relief funds.

Hall, whose nomination to be secretary is pending Senate confirmation, presented the information as part of a review of the October flood to the state department of transportation commission in Columbia.

She also reported that about $20 million of the state share will be used for latent flood damage that could occur in the next 12-18 months.

The secretary said the SCDOT’s goal was to reopen roads as quickly as possible. “Our mission was to restore the roads and bridges to their previous condition before the flood and ensure they were safe for the public to use once more,” Hall said.

Two full months after the storms struck, Hall said 59 transportation closures remained as of Dec. 4, when 23 bridges and 36 roads remained closed.

That’s down from peak closures of 541 routes or bridges on Oct. 5, as the 1,000-year flood swamped many parts of the state. Projects are in place to reopen 32 closed facilities, but the rest involve dams that the agency does not own.

In all, SCDOT said, repair work as performed on 900 sites of the state highway system, including 221 that involved bridges. Three bridges that are being replaced were already scheduled for replacement prior to the flood, but the storm left 18 more beyond repair and to be replaced.

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