York County wants $140 million from the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank to make improvements at five interchanges on Interstate 77.
County officials are finalizing the application and hope to have it submitted within a few weeks. Draft copies of the application have been shared with Transportation Infrastructure Bank for comment, County Manager Bill Shanahan told the York County Economic Development Board on Tuesday.
The Transportation Infrastructure Bank has funded $5.3 billion in highway road and bridge projects since 1997. Funding for the bank comes from truck registration fees, motor vehicle registration fees and a penny-on-the-dollar gasoline fuel tax.
York County has received bank funding for “Pennies for Progress” projects and work on I-77. Chester, Lancaster and York counties also have received bank funding for bridge replacement projects, according to the bank’s 2014-15 report to the state legislature.
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Shanahan said the $140 million would make improvements to the interstate’s interchanges at Carowinds Boulevard, Gold Hill Road, S.C. 160, Sutton Road and S.C. 161.
Shanahan said two factors should work in the county’s favor, the existing and planned economic development projects at the various interchanges and the completed, or planned, road improvements through Pennies for Progress, federal funds from the Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation Study group, and improvements in the Carowinds area.
“This is not a York County government project, this is a York County project,” Shanahan said.
Economic development is one of four criteria for Transportation Infrastructure Bank funding. The other factors are improving mobility and safety and improving quality of life. Projects must be more than $100 million to qualify for bank funding.
The fact that many of the economic development projects near the I-77 interchanges are already under construction should work in the county’s favor. “Our return on (economic) investment should give us an edge,” Shanahan said.