SCDOT Commission Approves Updated TAMP Targets
The Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) is used as a tool to tie investment levels to expected results and is considered a dynamic document intended to be updated periodically to accommodate changes.
On Thursday, the SCDOT Commission approved updated pavement and bridge performance targets and annual funding levels for inclusion in the TAMP 10-year plan. The Commission also approved incorporating the use of federal metrics for bridges in the TAMP.
The SCDOT’s strategic priorities remain to invest in the structurally deficient bridges on the NHS System and load restricted bridges. Under the revised plan, an average of $151 million will be spent on bridges annually.
The federal government requires SCDOT to rate pavements conditions either good or poor. However, the SCDOT does not feel that they should migrate to the federal metrics for determining pavement conditions. Unlike the bridge metrics, federal pavement metrics tend to lump more roads into the “fair” category and minimize the good/poor categories. This one size fits all approach is difficult to apply across states because of differences in conditions that impact pavements in various regions.
The current scale that is used is the Pavement Quality Index (PQI) which was developed for South Carolina and the SCDOT feels it is more accurate to determine conditions of what South Carolina drivers are seeing and experiencing.
Under the revised plan, SCDOT plans to invest an average of $641 million annually in resurfacing. The chart below notes the updates (in red) made to the TAMP Pavement Program:
SCDOT Commission Approves Interstate Bonding
Act 275 jump started the interstate program when it passed in 2016. However, pending lawsuits challenging Acts 275 (2016) and 40 (2017) are causing issues for the SCDOT and State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) when it comes to planning for projects.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the lawsuits and the ability to bond any of the Act 275 and Act 40 revenues, the SCDOT has developed an alternative funding plan in an effort to continue to move forward with the interstate program. This plan would consist of maximizing use of federal funds, cash on hand, and deploying general obligation bonds.
Secretary Hall noted that bonding would be required (regardless of the lawsuits) to cover cash flow needs for the Carolina Crossroads project and maybe one other large project. Since the procurement process begins this summer for Carolina Crossroads, Hall urged the Commission to approve the funding plan so that SCDOT would have a good financial plan outlined instead of a "wait and see" mentality.
The alternative plan was approved by the Commission. However, it is important to note that before any bonds are issued, Secretary Hall will come back with formal resolution that includes bond requests and specifics, which would then be subject to Commission approval.
View Secretary Hall's full presentation here.
SCDOT Commission Welcomes New Commissioner
Earlier this week, John H. Burriss of Chapin was sworn in as a member of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Commission, just in time for Thursday’s Commission meeting.