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T&D FILE PHOTO

As state lawmakers debate future road funding, T&D Region counties have been preparing to improve roads with money provided by the General Assembly last year.

Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg counties received a total of $10.7 million last year in county transportation committee funds.

About $9.4 million of that amount has already been committed for road work, according to the S.C. Department of Transportation.

The Orangeburg CTC has about $6.9 million in funds available and has committed about $6.5 million toward paving about 30 miles of road. About $400,000 remained uncommitted as of Feb. 24.

Orangeburg County CTC Chairman Dr. Jessie Kinard said the committee has followed the lead of Orangeburg County in road paving projects.

County Council members “had an opportunity to list the top priorities for a portion of that money equally,” Kinard said.

Council chose the roads that most needed work, he said. “The ones in bad shape we asked them to prioritize.”

The $6.5 million is going toward the resurfacing of portions of 39 roads.

Roads that are being addressed include portions of Orange Street, Cannon Bridge Road, Caroline Avenue, Cordova Road, Two Church Road, Edward Street, Park Street, Perriwinkle Lane, Bridge Street and Glover Street, to name a few.

“A lot of roads have been approved but they have not been worked on yet,” Kinard said. “In the winter you can’t pour hot tar. There is a whole lot waiting to be spent.”

The Calhoun CTC has committed more than $1 million for about five miles of roads, leaving about $900,000 remaining uncommitted.

The projects that received funding include resurfacing about 1 1/2 miles of St. John Road from U.S. 176 to Old State Road, resurfacing about a mile of Ott Sisters Road, resurfacing about 1.62 miles of New Hope Road from Burke Road to the Orangeburg County line, resurfacing Bellinger Lane from Old Sandy Run Road to its termination and continued work on Access Road and Meeting Street.

Bamberg County received $1.9 million and committed all the money on March 3.

A little over nine miles of roadway will be paved with the money.

“We don’t have all the money to fix them,” Bamberg County CTC Chairman Harold Johnson said, noting the delay in committing the projects can be blamed to work load.

“They (DOT) are backed up working on other projects,” he said, explaining that the historic October floods and recent rains have kept the county’s crews busy.

“Now they have the time to do it,” he said.

The roads that will be resurfaced include about 6 1/2 miles of Colston Road, 2 1/2 miles of Rivers Bridge Road and less than a mile of Indian Camp Road.

Lawmakers approved the money last year after efforts to pass a comprehensive road-funding bill stalled in the Senate.

The CTC funds, also known as “C” funds, are a county’s share of the state gasoline tax.

State lawmakers set aside about $216 million last year on top of the recurring money the counties usually get.

Orangeburg County receives about $2.2 million in recurring funds annually; Calhoun County, $637,000 and Bamberg County. $630,000.

This year, the House’s Ways and Means Committee once again allocated about $250 million to county transportation committees in addition to their recurring funds.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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