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SC Roads Chief Retires, Praised for Catastrophe Response, Freeway Enhancements

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s well-respected transportation chief Christy Corridor is retiring after spending the previous decade overseeing billions of {dollars} in freeway spending after the state raised its gas tax to repair its roads.

Corridor’s retirement announcement as secretary of the South Carolina Division of Transportation was met with reward throughout the spectrum.

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She took one of the crucial political jobs in state authorities — who will get new highways, extra lanes and higher roads — and made it equitable and primarily based on wants, whereas additionally convincing these in energy that was one of the simplest ways to function.

Corridor is a “unicorn amongst state company heads,” distinctive in her capacity to inform individuals how it’s as a substitute of what they wish to hear, but additionally in incomes belief that she’ll do all the things she will be able to to resolve issues, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Larry Grooms stated Thursday.

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“We now have goal standards by which we measure tasks. We all know what we’re going to do and the way a lot it’s going to value earlier than we do it,” stated the Republican from Bonneau. “She took out the guesswork.”

In 2015, Corridor took over an company that had three administrators in two years. The division’s funds have been so unhealthy that contractors weren’t certain they might receives a commission.

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South Carolina roads have been in such unhealthy form that factories have been threatening to cease increasing except the gasoline tax was raised. However the poor administration of DOT was an argument in opposition to giving them any more cash.

Corridor got here to work for the street company contemporary out of civil engineering faculty at Clemson College within the mid-Nineties. She rose by way of the ranks of the company.

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As director, she earned the belief of lawmakers, who stated they have been impressed together with her capacity to get as a lot cash as she may from different locations to complement money from the 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase.

A dozen tasks increasing interstates or upgrading previous interchanges at main crossroads are at present below building or deliberate by way of the tip of the last decade throughout South Carolina. They embrace the long-sought expansion of Interstate 26 to a few lanes in every path the place 1000’s of vans from the port head from Charleston to Columbia, and the untangling of the place Interstates 20, 26 and 126 meet west of downtown Columbia.

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“Christy Corridor has been an unbelievable Secretary for the individuals of South Carolina. Throughout her tenure, she has greater than quadrupled the quantity of street and bridge work occurring throughout our state,” SCDOT Chairman Tony Cox stated in a written assertion.

Corridor thanked the governor who suggested she get the job, Nikki Haley, and Haley’s successor, Henry McMaster. She additionally thanked lawmakers and the SCDOT board for permitting her to serve at a time when the state skilled “unprecedented ranges of street and bridge work in each county of the state.”

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Corridor’s final day is March 31. The SCDOT board on Thursday selected Chief Working Officer Justin Powell to be her successor. His appointment should be accepted by the state Senate.

Corridor’s expertise weren’t simply in building. She bought Haley’s consideration together with her management throughout an enormous ice storm in 2014 within the Midlands. She made certain roads have been rapidly reopened throughout historic floods and hurricanes, together with main an effort to construct a brief barrier that saved floodwaters from surging over U.S. Freeway 501 and chopping off Myrtle Seaside after Hurricane Florence.

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“Whether or not responding to pure disasters or spearheading transformative infrastructure tasks, she has persistently delivered for the individuals of South Carolina,” Gov. McMaster stated in an announcement. “She leaves a legacy of excellence and has positioned the company ready to proceed to drive our state ahead.”

Photograph: South Carolina Secretary of Transportation Christy Corridor speaks with reporters a few proposal to widen Interstate 26 in 2021. (AP Photograph/Michelle Liu, file)

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