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Project Prioritization Process

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A need exists


A need, such as maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement is identified through the process of visual inspection, condition data review, and maintenance of a transportation asset such as pavement or a bridge.

Candidates are identified


Potential candidates are identified by asset type or category using condition data. Projects of the same type are ranked together.

Prioritization required by legislation


2007 legislation passed by the general assembly required SCDOT to consider certain criteria when prioritizing projects. These criteria are:

Prioritizing Projects >
Candidates are ranked


All appropriate criteria are weighted and used to create a formula to produce a numerical ranking score. This score is used to create a pool of possible candidates for similar projects.

Selection and project development

Selection & Project Development

  • 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 needs of the area.
  • Projects are selected from the candidate pool and developed in priority order based on the funding available. This may be on a statewide or county basis depending on the asset category and program type.
  • 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.
  • This process is repeated annually for resurfacing projects, and as necessary based on need for other assets.
Commission Approval

Commission Approval

The prioritized list for the asset being considered is submitted to the SCDOT Commission for approval and then put out for a 21-day public comment period. Comments are received and reviewed by appropriate staff and a response sent to the person that submitted the comment.

Let to contract

Let to Contract

At the end of the 21-day public comment period the projects are placed in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and then placed out for bid in a highway letting.

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.

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Program category procedures are detailed in Engineering Directives