How We Pick Projects

Planning Home

graphic of pen and paper

Designating Program Categories

It all begins with the SCDOT Commission designating our broad Program Categories such as:

  • Pavements (Resurfacing)
  • Interstate Upgrades
  • Bridges
  • Safety
  • MPO/COG Programs (Projects prioritized at the local level)
  • Freight
graphic of money

Funding Assigned

The SCDOT Commission assigns funding levels to those program categories using the practice of performance management, which ties investment levels to desired targets.

2018 Funding Levels pie chart

The Ten Year Program Funding chart will show the next 10 years of planned funding levels for the programs and show how SCDOT plans to grow these programs over time to match the increased gas tax collections in the state.

Prioritization required by legislation

Objective Criteria

2007 legislation passed by the general assembly required SCDOT to consider certain objective and quantifiable criteria when prioritizing projects within its programs. SCDOT has developed technical processes for how to utilize the criteria for each program category. These criteria are:

Ranking Criteria > Engineering Directives >
Candidates are ranked


Next, potential projects are scored within each category based on the applicable criteria. The top candidates in the pool are further evaluated in the field and a final ranking score is determined using input from local engineers familiar with the current needs of the area. Projects are then selected from the candidate pool and developed in priority order based on the planned program funding. Most resurfacing projects are prioritized on a county level, with only interstate and routes on the National Highway System (NHS) being prioritized on a state level. Interstate widenings, bridge replacements, safety and freight programs are ranked on a statewide basis. MPO/COG programs are ranked within the respective geographic region.

Ranking Lists >
Commission Approval

Commission Approval

The prioritized lists of projects for the programs are submitted to the SCDOT Commission for approval. Following Commission approval, the ranked lists are placed on a 21-day period to allow the public to comment on the proposed projects.

Let to contract

Projects are Developed

At the end of the 21-day public comment period the projects are placed in the comprehensive State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), developed, and then advanced to construction.

STIP > Interactive Project Map >
Data Retention

Data Retention

All raw data used for project prioritization is kept on file as required by SCDOT Departmental Directive 51 and SCDOT’s record retention schedules.