COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Transportation announced Monday it is debt free after making its final payment on outstanding highway bonds.

The agency said the debt also included State Infrastructure Bank loans. SCDOT intends to now reinvest money into ongoing projects throughout the state.

This comes after the agency carried roughly $1 billion in debt back in 2003 for large projects including the Ravenel Bridge and the widening of US-17 in the ACE basin.

SCDOT said in a release that it is now one of six state departments of transportation in the country to have no outstanding bonds or loans. An early repayment in December 2021 helped save over $9 million in future principal and interest payments, the agency said.

“I’m proud to announce that we have reached this significant milestone,” said Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall, P.E. “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.” 

With more financial security, one of the agency’s focuses will be on the reconstruction of I-256 between Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley, among others.