NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham participated in a roundtable discussion Monday on infrastructure needs in the Lowcountry.
It comes after a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed in the Senate and is now being discussed in the House of Representatives.
SCDOT Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall discussed how some of the $4.9 billion dollars, South Carolina’s share of the $1.2 trillion dollar plan, would be spent in the state.
Projects in Berkeley County that could be funded include the Highway 176 and 52 intersection in Goose Creek, and the widening of Nexton Parkway. In Charleston, the completion of I-526 is a top priority; and in Dorchester county, phase 3 of the Berlin G Myers Parkway could be included.
However, with growth coming to the Lowcountry, there are about $8 billion in project needs right now, just in the Charleston area.
“All I can say is that this is a problem that most people would love to have,” said Hall.
Mayors from Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville were on hand for Monday’s roundtable.
Sen. Graham told them infrastructure is one area that Washington may be able to take some steps forward on.
“We’re not doing a whole lot in Washington that’s constructive but maybe this bill might be,” he said.
After the discussion, Sen. Graham spoke to the media. He said due to political pressures, he is not convinced the infrastructure bill will pass in the House.
“It would be a shame if it gets into the House and the most radical liberal people in the country kill the bill,” he said.
Sen. Graham also talked about the future of road funding. He said as more vehicles are becoming electric, gas tax dollars will drop. We asked if he believed a new tax needs to be implemented to make up for those funds.
“So, you’d like to see a specific tax on electric vehicles? I’d like to see a system that captures the use. I don’t know- is it do you pay it when you buy the car? Should states come up with that? Is it miles driven? There’s got to be some system so the people who buy electric cars contribute to the highways.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set a vote on this bill in the House for Thursday.