Columbia Star

S.C. Department of Transportation is debt free


SCDOT officials have announced the final payment on the agency’s outstanding highway bonds. By paying off all outstanding debt, including State Infrastructure Bank loans, the agency is saving money on future interest payments and that money can be reinvested into ongoing projects.

With this announcement, the SCDOT becomes one of six state departments of transportation in the nation with no outstanding highway bonds or loans. This announcement follows the early repayment of loans to the State Infrastructure Bank in December 2021. By using one-time funding, that action saved SCDOT $9.2 million in future principal and interest payments.

Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall, P.E. said, “I’m proud to announce we have reached this significant milestone. We are grateful to Governor McMaster and the South Carolina General Assembly for their continued investment in our work, and we take seriously our responsibility to be responsible stewards for the people of South Carolina. We appreciate the support of our colleagues at the State Treasurer’s Office as we continue to plan strategically for the future of the agency.”

In 2003, the agency carried approximately $1 billion in transportation debt, with annual payments up to $100 million in 2008. Those funds were used to expedite a large number of projects across the state including the Ravenel Bridge and the widening of US-17 in the ACE basin. By paying off debt now, the agency is in a better position financially, preserving and building debt capacity for financing larger projects, like the reconstruction of I-526 between Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley.

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