COLUMBIA — AAA Carolinas says South Carolina’s six most substandard bridges are all on Interstate 26.
The travel organization said Tuesday that the worst bridge in South Carolina is over a railroad track on I-26 just east of the Interstate 126 exit near Columbia. The bridge was built in 1958 and carries about 550,000 vehicles every week. It has been the state’s worst bridge in all but one year since 2000.
AAA says three more bridges on I-26 in Lexington County and two in Charleston County are among the six most substandard bridges in the state. The group says the bridges are in relatively poor condition and are not designed to handle that volume of traffic.
Seven bridges in Charleston County made AAA’s list of the 20 most substandard bridges in the state. Richland and Lexington counties each had three bridges and Greenville and Spartanburg each had two bridges make the top 20.
Only two of the bridges are undergoing construction to make them better. Three of the bridges have been approved to be replaced, while no work is planned on the other 15 bridges on AAA’s list.
“Inadequate funding for road and bridge maintenance over the past decade means we still have a significant number of substandard bridges in South Carolina. We need to find new sources of funding for our state’s Department of Transportation,” AAA Carolinas President David Parsons said.
The House approved a bill that would send about $100 million collected on sales tax for vehicle purchases and move it from the general fund to road work. The Senate passed a bill to transfer $50 million to the State Infrastructure Bank where it could be used to borrow up to $500 million.
The state Department of Transportation estimates it will need $1.5 billion each year over the next 20 years to get the state’s roads and bridges back to good condition.
Spartanburg, Greenville and Charleston counties all have more than 100 substandard bridges. More than one-third of all bridges in Charleston, Lancaster and Edgefield counties are rated substandard, according to AAA.