Inside South Carolina Department of Transportation

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Understanding Highway Policy

SCDOT is responsible for 63% of South Carolina Roads

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.

National System *
pie chart of the national system - comparing state and local miles
South Carolina *
pie chart of South Carolina comparing state and local miles

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.