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DeMint Secures Flexibility for S.C. Roads
April 29, 2005

Contact: Wesley Denton [email protected]>  or Adam Temple [email protected]>

April 29, 2005

DeMint Secures Flexibility for S.C. Roads

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C) today praised the Bush Administration after it approved an innovative finance program following his request.  The administrative action by the Federal Highway Administration will result in increased flexibility for South Carolina in its use of transportation dollars with a better state matching formula. 

"Although our prospects didn't look good at first, we pushed hard, and got what we wanted," said DeMint.  "I'm very pleased the Administration made this decision today.  Getting flexibility for South Carolina road dollars has been one of my top priorities and I'm very proud we got this done."

The Federal Highway Administration granted the South Carolina Department of Transportation a reduced state matching rate that will allow the state to count its indirect costs and overhead towards projects as a "soft match," thereby reducing the state's matching percentage from 80/20 to 90/10. This flexibility will free up over $94 million in state funds over two years for use on local roads.   SCDOT will use the funding to address safety related needs on high-crash roads throughout the state.

Betty Mabry, Executive Director of SCDOT, said, "This is a very useful tool that will allow SCDOT to have greater flexibility with its use of state dollars."

 DeMint added, "This innovative finance proposal is the type of outside-the-box thinking we need in government and I applaud Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters for her foresight in approving this program for our state."

South Carolina has been operating under a pilot program for two years which allows SCDOT to use a reduced state matching rate on transportation projects.   When the program expired the state sought an extension for another two years.  DeMint weighed in with the White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation to expedite and secure the approval of this program.

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