Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Brown (R-S.C.) joined U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in announcing over $125 million in the House-Senate highway conference report to fund road projects in the First Congressional District of South Carolina. The surface transportation bill provides $286.4 billion in federal highway contract authority between 2004 and 2009, and is expected to pass the Senate and the House later this week. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation soon after.
"As we complete the highway authorization bill, I feel that we have crafted legislation that both enhances the Nation's highway infrastructure and also significantly benefits the First District," said Congressman Henry Brown. "Jim and Lindsey helped form a powerful team in the Senate, and I am deeply appreciative of their assistance and of their leadership. Not only have we been able to secure a higher rate of return at 92% by 2008, but we have guaranteed that South Carolina's most critical highway project, I-73, has every opportunity to be accomplished. I-73 will provide much needed congestion relief and economic development that will allow the Grand Strand region to continue its strong growth. I would also like to thank John Spratt for his contribution of $8 million to I-73."
“The highway bill is very good news for motorists in South Carolina,” said Senator Graham. “As a state, we were able to secure a more equitable funding formula which will put additional dollars toward our road system. It truly moves the ball forward in our efforts to build new roads while maintaining and improving the ones we currently have. I truly appreciate the work done by Jim and Henry on the highway bill. They’ve been leaders in this area and we all owe them a debt of gratitude for what they’ve been able to accomplish. Making sure our state was treated in a fair and equitable manner was a team effort, but these two guys served as team captains and deserve a great deal of credit for what our state was able to accomplish.”
“The funding for these projects will improve our infrastructure and make South Carolina more competitive while also improving safety and our quality of life,” said Senator DeMint. “It was great to work with Henry on the conference committee. He worked tirelessly to make sure our priorities were addressed, and his efforts should be applauded. We are especially excited about I-73, and we will continue to work for its completion. I also want to personally thank Lindsey for his leadership and help to ensure South Carolina was treated fairly throughout this process.”
Overall, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU) will authorize $2.9 billion to South Carolina’s highway, highway safety and transit programs. This is a total increase of nearly 28 percent over TEA-21. In addition to formula monies, several specific projects in the First District will receive significant funding, as described in the attached list. Most notable of these items is I-73, which has been earmarked $81 million. I-73 is also designated as a Project of Regional and National Significance, which qualifies the highway for significant future funding from the federal government.
Notable Funding for 1st District Projects:
North Rhett Boulevard, Berkeley- $5,600,000
Railroad Avenue Extension, Berkeley- $1,600,000
Port Access Road, Charleston- $10,000,000
Demolition of Old Cooper River Bridges, Charleston- $5,000,000
MUSC Roadway Enhancements, Charleston- $3,200,000
US 17/Bowman Road Interchange, Charleston- $4,800,000
Extension of the Mark Clark Expressway, Charleston- $3,000,000
Berlin Myers Interchange, Charleston- $6,400,000
Construction of I-73, Horry- $81,000,000
Carolina Bays Parkway, Horry- $2,400,000
701 Connector, Horry- $4,000,000