How the Infrastructure Bill will help GSP continue to grow and innovate
Transportation funding across South Carolina is set to get a big boost from the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and SC Senator Lindsey Graham deserves credit for her job well done on behalf of all South Carolinians.
The senator’s leadership, working across the aisle and helping shape a strong bill that invests in South Carolina’s entire transportation system, has been critical in the legislative process. Passage of this bipartisan bill advances a number of key initiatives that will create jobs, modernize our transportation infrastructure, and enable South Carolina to grow in a smart and sustainable way.
In total, South Carolina will receive nearly $6 billion in infrastructure investment, covering everything from repairing aging roads and bridges to expanding high-speed internet to ensuring clean drinking water. Additionally, South Carolina airports will receive $161 million to complete infrastructure upgrades such as improved runways and taxiways, as well as other airport-related projects.
At Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, for example, these investments will help fund capital improvements and make getting to and from GSP an even smoother, more efficient and enjoyable experience.
Additionally, improving investment in air cargo facilities is key to addressing supply chain issues and supporting our region’s ever-growing manufacturing base. GSP now averages one daily international air cargo flight from Europe, translating to approximately $1 billion in annual economic impact. These investments will help ensure that GSP’s economic impact on our state as a whole continues to grow year after year.
In fact, over the past decade, increased investment and activity at GSP has had a significant effect on the upstate economy, as well as the state. In 2018, for example, GSP was responsible for an estimated $2.9 billion impact on the upstate economy – a figure more than eight times greater than just 10 years ago, when the airport was contributing approximately $377 million to the regional economy.
Investments made through the bipartisan infrastructure bill will keep GSP on track for future growth, helping it create jobs for South Carolina workers while supporting stronger transportation infrastructure and more responsive statewide. More than that, this new infrastructure law will ensure that GSP can continue to fulfill its mission of advancing the economic prosperity of northern South Carolina.
Thanks to the hard work of Graham and others, South Carolina will be able to continue to develop and improve the state’s physical infrastructure, including airports, roads, highways and bridges, while increasing investment in clean energy technologies that can help modernize our energy. sector and support the further development of electric vehicles and carbon capture technology. Not only will it help improve energy efficiency, but it can also impact our country’s network system and cybersecurity.
Ultimately, the investments made through this bill will enable South Carolina to continue to modernize its transportation infrastructure, reduce carbon emissions nationwide, and support a stronger and more 21st century economy. more resilient.
Doug Smith is a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Smith was elected Chairman Pro Tempore in 2000 and served in that position until his retirement from the legislature in 2008. He is currently a commissioner on the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Commission.