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Infrastructure needs must be priority

Author: John Worley

Source: The T&D

January 22, 2015

John Worley

At Zeus, our products make everyday life a little better and safer. You’ll find Zeus technology in oil exploration and automobiles. You’ll find us in the Boeing Dreamliner made in Charleston and many medical devices used to improve your health and life.

Manufacturing is the cornerstone of South Carolina’s economy, and our sector is growing. With one of our facilities located on Interstate 26 in Gaston, all of our employees know first hand the need for additional investment in our highway system. Congestion, safety and just-in-time delivery of goods and services all depend on a reliable highway network.

When companies like Zeus expand or choose a state to locate in, infrastructure is a top priority. South Carolina lawmakers must proactively support economic development by investing in our roads and bridges, especially in our rural areas that are hungry for jobs.

When it comes to South Carolina infrastructure, nearly a third of primary and interstate highways are in poor or mediocre condition. Secondary, two-lane roads are statistically the most dangerous highways, and South Carolina does not currently have a state-funded construction program to make safety improvements.

The expansion underway at the Port of Charleston is great news for South Carolina, but we must ensure that our infrastructure can accommodate the additional trucks and traffic. I know firsthand the congestion that occurs often on Interstate 26, and my counterparts across the state can attest to similar experiences.

Investing in infrastructure is a core function of government. With the strong link between infrastructure, safety, job creation and economic development, long-term funding must be the top priority this legislative session. South Carolina’s elected officials must work together to develop and implement a comprehensive and recurring funding plan.

John Worley is CEO of Zeus Industrial Products Inc.

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