State vs. Local Ownership of Highways
Every state in the nation has a highway agency. These agencies hold varying degrees of responsibility for the construction and maintenance of public highways.
Nationally, 19% of all public roads are state-owned. County or municipal governments locally own the other 81% of the roads in America. Here in South Carolina, 63% of the road miles are state-owned and 37% are locally owned.
This means that SCDOT controls and maintains three times the number of miles as in other states.
This situation evolved over an eighty-year period. Most of it occurred prior to the "home rule" form of government in South Carolina. Today, SCDOT is struggling to maintain its large network of secondary roads.
* Source: Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2009, Table HM-10.