Road damage significant from ice storms - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Road damage significant from ice storms

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DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC - DOT officials say the clean up of the limbs left over from this year’s ice storms should be mostly complete by May.

Now, officials there say they are assessing the damage done by the ice to the roads and bridge decks.

State officials say the life cycle of the highways has been accelerated because of this year’s ice storms.

They say they are estimating the damage done to the roads at around $160 million so far.

Some state officials are calling for an increase in the gas tax to fix the damage.

Jim Rozier, SC DOT Commissioner says, "Someday our legislators are going to have to wake up and increase the gas tax, we have the 4th lowest gas tax in the nation, with the largest number of roads per capita in the nation, so it doesn't equate." Senator Larry Grooms (R) Berkeley, heads up the Transportation Committee in the South Carolina General Assembly. He says he will propose setting aside general fund monies for the fix.

Grooms says “I’m one that’s been pushing an idea of taking a portion of the surplus in state revenues, every year, there’s always a little bit of surplus in money and set that aside for highway maintenance and expansion.”

Right now, the state collects a gas tax of about 16 cents a gallon. That’s the fourth-lowest gas tax in the nation and hasn’t been increased since 1987.

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