Audit recommends merging DOT, highway borrowing agency

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – State auditors are recommending that the Legislature either close the South Carolina agency that borrows and doles out money for large highway and bridge projects or make it part of the Department of Transportation.

The report Thursday by the Legislative Audit Council says combining the agencies would allow for better coordination and prioritization of highway projects, focus accountability in a single agency and keep project decisions in the executive branch.

Critics of the state Transportation Infrastructure Bank contend politics, not priorities, determine which highway projects are funded. Of the board’s seven members, two are legislators and two others are legislatively appointed.

The audit noted that either of its recommendations would require changing state law regarding the Department of Transportation’s ability to borrow money.

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