1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2003 Session
DisclaimerThis statutory database is current through the 2003 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2004, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.
Title 57 - Highways, Bridges and Ferries
STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM
COMPOSITION OF AND CHANGE IN SYSTEM
SECTION 57-5-10. Composition of State highway system in general.
The state highway system shall consist of a statewide system of connecting highways which shall be constructed by the Department of Transportation and which shall be maintained by the department in a safe and serviceable condition as state highways. The complete state highway system shall mean the system of state highways as now constituted, consisting of the roads, streets and highways heretofore designated as state highways or designated for construction or maintenance by the department pursuant to law, together with the roads, streets and highways heretofore added to the state highway system by the Commission of the Department of Transportation, and such roads, streets and highways as may hereafter be added to the system pursuant to law. Roads and highways in the state highway system are classified into three classifications:
(1) interstate system of highways;
(2) state highway primary system; and
(3) state highway secondary system.
SECTION 57-5-20. Interstate system of highways.
The interstate system of highways shall consist of the segments of highways in South Carolina in the officially designated national system of interstate and defense highways.
SECTION 57-5-30. State highway primary system.
The state highway primary system shall consist of a connected system of principal state highways, not to exceed ten thousand miles, connecting centers of population, as determined by the Commission of the Department of Transportation.
SECTION 57-5-40. State highway secondary system.
The state highway secondary system shall consist of all roads, streets and highways in the state highway system not otherwise designated as highways in the interstate system or the state highway primary system.
SECTION 57-5-50. Transfers between secondary and primary systems.
The commission may transfer any route or section of route from the state highway secondary system to the state highway primary system, or vice versa, when, in its judgment, such transfer is advisable to better serve the traveling public.
SECTION 57-5-60. Permitted additions to primary system.
The department may add to the state highway primary system any sections or connections which, in the judgment of the department may be necessary in the proper development of the federal-aid primary highway system or the state highway primary system.
SECTION 57-5-70. Additions to secondary system.
The department shall take over and accept as a part of the state highway secondary system the roads remaining in the various county road systems which have been maintained by the respective counties, or so much mileage thereof as the availability of funds for construction of secondary state highways in a county may justify; provided, that municipal streets which are extensions of state highways may be added to the state highway secondary system in lieu of an equal mileage of county roads. The roads to be placed in the state highway system hereunder shall be selected by the department. Maintenance jurisdiction by the department of roads added to the state highway secondary system pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not commence until construction to state highway standards shall have started.
SECTION 57-5-80. Deletion and removal of roads from secondary system.
The department may delete and remove from the state highway secondary system of roads in any county any roads which are of low traffic importance and substitute therefor an equal, or less, mileage of other roads of higher traffic importance as determined by traffic surveys and estimates. Maintenance responsibility for roads deleted and removed from the state highway secondary system pursuant to the provisions of this section shall transfer from the jurisdiction of the department to the jurisdiction of the county or municipality in which such roads are situated, effective upon notice from the department of official action deleting and removing the roads from the state highway system.
SECTION 57-5-90. Belt lines and spurs.
The commission may establish such belt lines or spurs as it deems proper and construct and maintain such belt lines and spurs from funds otherwise provided by law for the construction and maintenance of the state highway system, but the total length of such belt lines and spurs to be established or constructed in any county shall not exceed two miles in any one fiscal year; provided, that should the commission fail to establish belt lines or spurs during a fiscal year the allocation to the counties shall be continued from year to year and the mileage shall be cumulative. Provided, further, that any mileage that accumulated prior to June 30, 1972, under this section shall remain to the credit of the county to which it accumulated.
SECTION 57-5-100. Other additions by department prohibited.
Except as authorized herein, or by other law, the department is hereby prohibited from adding roads to the state highway system.
SECTION 57-5-110. Relocations in Federal and State primary systems.
The Department of Transportation may relocate any section of highways included in the federal-aid primary highway system or the state highway primary system when such relocation is required in order to conform to the standards adopted for the highways comprising such systems.
SECTION 57-5-120. Abandonment of section of relocated highway.
The department may abandon as a part of the state highway system any section of highway which may be relocated, and every such section so abandoned as a part of the state highway system shall revert to the jurisdiction of the respective appropriate local authorities involved or be abandoned as a public way. But the department, in its discretion, may retain in the system any such relocated section when it serves as a needed connection to the new section or when it serves as a proper part of the state highway system.
SECTION 57-5-130. Department shall publish description of roads.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when the Department of Transportation publishes the name or description of a state road or highway in a newspaper of general circulation, it shall include not only the numerical designation of such road or highway but also a general description of it. In the general description the department, where possible, shall include the designated name of the road or highway and its general location as compared to other roads and highways in the general vicinity.
SECTION 57-5-140. State highways within municipalities.
The state highways designated as parts of the state highway system shall include the sections of such highways lying within the limits of incorporated municipalities, and such sections shall be equally as eligible in all respects to receive the attention of the department for construction, reconstruction, and maintenance as are the sections of the highways lying wholly without incorporated places. But the department shall not reimburse any municipality for any construction performed by such municipality prior to June 13, 1951, nor share in the cost of any construction or improvement made by any municipality on any street or highway prior to the date the road or street so constructed or improved was added to the state highway system.
But nothing in this chapter shall prevent a municipality from undertaking any improvements or performing any maintenance work on state highways in addition to what the department is able to undertake with the available funds. The Department of Transportation shall not, however, be liable for damages to property or injuries to persons, as otherwise provided for in Section 57-5-1810, as a consequence of the negligence by a municipality in such improvements or maintenance work by a municipality.
SECTION 57-5-150. Cost of rights-of-way in municipalities and of urban transportation projects shall be paid from State Highway Fund.
The entire cost of the rights-of-way for state highway construction in municipalities shall be paid for from the state highway fund, as authorized in Section 57-5-140, on the same basis as rights-of-way are paid for in rural areas, and also that the Department of Transportation shall pay from the state highway fund the entire cost of urban transportation plan projects, including all of the costs of all rights-of-way.
SECTION 57-5-160. Department authorized to enter into agreement with Atomic Energy Commission and others regarding highway within Savannah River Project.
The Department of Transportation is authorized to enter into agreement with the United States Atomic Energy Commission and such other parties as may be necessary to accept and place into the state highway system portions of the highways formerly designated as Nos. 28 and 125 lying within the boundaries of the Savannah River Project. The department, after consultation with the Atomic Energy Commission, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the manner in which the highway within the Savannah River Project may be utilized by the traveling public, which regulations, when duly promulgated shall have the force of law.
SECTION 57-5-170. Regulations affecting traffic on highway within Savannah River Project.
In order to protect the national security, the regulations may include provisions to restrict the area of the highway within the limits of the Savannah River Project to vehicular traffic, capable of maintaining the minimum posted speed limit; to designate any and all points of access to and from the segment of highway lying within the area and may provide for a system of closure at points upon the highway so as to enable the department or Atomic Energy Commission to identify vehicles and individuals using the highway and to enable the Department of Transportation or the Atomic Energy Commission to determine the transit time along the highway within the limits of the area.
SECTION 57-5-180. Filing of agreement with Secretary of State regarding highway within Savannah River Project; effect of agreement.
Upon execution of an agreement with the Atomic Energy Commission, the Department of Transportation shall file with the Secretary of State a copy of the agreement and shall publicly declare the date on which the highway shall be a part of the state highway system. After such execution, the terms of the agreement shall have full force notwithstanding any other provisions of law relating to highways in this State.
SECTION 57-5-190. Penalty involving highway within Savannah River Project.
Any person convicted of violating the provisions of Sections 57-5-160 through 57-5-180 may be punished in any court of competent jurisdiction by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than thirty days.
SECTION 57-5-195. Bob Harrell Bridge and Interchange.
The I-526 bridge and interchange that span U.S. Highway 17 and U.S. Highway 7 in Charleston County is named the "Bob Harrell Bridge and Interchange" in honor of this distinguished South Carolinian. The Department of Transportation shall install appropriate markers or signs at this bridge as the department considers appropriate that contain this designation.
RIGHTS OF WAY, LANDS AND CONDEMNATION
SECTION 57-5-310. Ownership of real estate.
The commission and the Department of Transportation may own such real estate, in fee simple or by lease, as shall be deemed necessary for the purpose of facilitating the proper operation of the department or for the building and maintenance of the public highways in the state highway system.
SECTION 57-5-320. Acquisition of property generally; liability for abandonment after condemnation and trial.
The department may acquire an easement or fee simple title to real property by gift, purchase, condemnation or otherwise as may be necessary, in the judgment of the department, for the construction, maintenance, improvement or safe operation of highways in this State or any section of a state highway or for the purpose of acquiring sand, rock, clay, and other material necessary for the construction of highways, including:
(a) land for drainage ditches and canals that may be needed in order to correct existing land drainage facilities impaired or interfered with by the department in connection with its road improvement work; and
(b) property, either within or without incorporated towns, to be used for borrow pits from which to secure embankment and surfacing materials.
Other property required, as determined by the department, for the construction, maintenance and safe operation of state highways may be acquired by condemnation in the manner described in this article. Provided, however, after condemnation, trial and rendition of verdict by jury there shall be no abandonment by the department without the payment of expenses incurred by the landowner including a reasonable fee to the attorney or attorneys representing the landowner, which fee and expenses shall be set and approved by the trial judge.
SECTION 57-5-330. Minimum width of rights of way.
The minimum width of the right-of-way required for the construction, maintenance and safe operation of state highways is hereby fixed at sixty-six feet. But the department, in its discretion, may accept a lesser width than sixty-six feet within incorporated towns or where existing structures of a permanent nature would necessarily be moved or damaged in order to afford the full minimum width of sixty-six feet. And the department may acquire such additional width above the minimum herein fixed as in its judgment may be necessary to meet the exigencies of construction, maintenance, and safe operation of any particular highway.
SECTION 57-5-340. Sale or other disposition of real estate.
The department shall continuously inventory all of its real property. When, in the judgement of the department any real estate acquired as provided in this chapter is no longer necessary for the proper operation of the department or highway systems, the department shall vigorously attempt to sell the property by advertising for competitive bids in local newspapers or by direct negotiations, but in every case of the sale or transfer of any real estate by the commission or the department, the sale or transfer shall be made public by publishing notice of it in the minutes of the next succeeding meeting of the commission. The commission and the department shall convey by deed, signed by the Director of the Department of Transportation and the Deputy Director of the Division of Finance and Administration, any real estate disposed of under this section. Any funds derived from the sale of surplus property by authority of this section shall be credited to the funding category from which funds were drawn to finance the department's acquisition of the property. However, any funds derived from the sale of right-of-way, which the department has purchased, in excess of the department's cost shall be distributed among the counties as C funds pursuant to Section 12-27-400.
SECTION 57-5-350. Certain easements shall not be sold or leased for commercial use.
The department shall neither lease nor sell any part of the state highway primary system, rights-of-way or any of the controlled-access highway facilities for commercial enterprise activities, except public utilities, which were acquired by easement. This shall not serve to prevent the sale of surplus property as authorized by Section 57-5-340, nor shall it prevent the sale of any of the properties referred to in this section which were acquired by fee simple deed.
SECTION 57-5-370. Condemnation for streets within municipalities or materials therefor.
Whenever the department is required or authorized by law to construct or improve streets within municipalities, the municipality or the department may condemn additional land necessary for the improvement of the streets or property within the municipality required for materials with which to construct highway embankments and surfacing.
SECTION 57-5-380. Condemnation of property of public service corporations.
The department, for the purpose of acquiring property as authorized by Section 57-5-320, may condemn lands, rights-of-way, and easements of railroad, railway, telegraph, or other public service corporations, provided that the condemnation does not impair the ability of the railroad, railway, telegraph, or other public service corporations to operate.
SECTION 57-5-540. Award shall be paid by Department.
When the department condemns property, the award shall be paid by the department.
SECTION 57-5-550. Deeds and other instruments to be filed and indexed.
All deeds or other instruments conveying, or intended to convey, a right-of-way and the original papers in all condemnation proceedings to acquire a right-of-way for any state highway shall be filed by the department in its offices at Columbia, and a direct index of all such deeds, instruments and records shall be made and kept by the department.
The provisions of this section shall apply to all deeds, instruments and condemnation proceedings in existence on or after June 13, 1951, except such instruments as had actually been recorded prior to said date in the office of the register of deeds or clerk of court of any county of this State or had prior to said date become a permanent record in any such office.
SECTION 57-5-570. Records to be maintained in tax assessors' offices.
The department shall maintain in the office of the tax assessor for each of the several counties a copy of all highway plans on which are indicated the widths of the rights-of-way for each road in the related district or county and an alphabetical list of property owners on each road for which rights-of-way have been acquired. These records must be for the convenience of persons making inquiry as to the right of the State in and to the right-of-way for roads constructed by the department in any county. The tax assessors of the several counties shall cooperate with the department in keeping these records current, without charge.
SECTION 57-5-580. Cost of right of way as part of cost of construction.
The department may charge, as part of the cost of construction, the costs of rights-of-way necessary in connection with the improvement or construction of any state highway project.
SECTION 57-5-590. Rights additional to those of county authorities.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to divest the county authorities of the right to condemn for highway purposes, but the rights herein granted are concurrent with the rights and powers of governing bodies of counties and they may still condemn property for highway purposes upon the written request of the department.
SECTION 57-5-600. Abandonment of right-of-way.
Whenever the Department of Transportation shall determine that any property previously acquired for right-of-way is not required for either right-of-way or departmental purposes, it may expressly abandon that right-of-way or property or any portion thereof, or may grant written permits to encroach thereon under such rules and regulations as the Department of Transportation may establish. Provided, no city street may be closed under this section without concurrence of the governing body of the municipality, except for interstate routes or controlled-access highways.
CONSTRUCTION OF SYSTEM
SECTION 57-5-710. Construction of State highway system shall be simultaneous and equitable in the several districts.
Except as otherwise provided by law, the construction of the state highway system shall be carried on simultaneously in each of the highway districts of the State, and the commission shall determine and arrange the order of the work in a fair and equitable manner among the counties within each highway district.
SECTION 57-5-720. Standards of construction.
The Department of Transportation shall construct the highways in the state highway primary system and the highways in the state highway secondary system to standards commensurate with the amount and types of traffic services to be rendered by the highways in the respective systems, it being the declared policy of the State that the highways in the state highway secondary system shall be constructed by less expensive standards than the highways in the state highway primary system, thus enabling the State to construct a larger mileage of all-weather farm-to-market roads from the available funds.
SECTION 57-5-730. Removal of view-obstructing dirt banks at intersections.
The Department may remove, when practicable, view-obstructing banks of dirt that exist at the intersections of any State highway with another State highway or with any other public highway.
SECTION 57-5-740. Construction of Federal-aid secondary or feeder highways.
The Department may construct Federal-aid secondary or feeder highways, including farm-to-market roads, on such highways or sections of highways as may be necessary to comply with Federal-aid statutes and governing regulations of the Bureau of Public Roads with respect thereto, regardless of whether, at the time of construction, such highways are in the State highway system. For the purposes of this section the Department may participate in the cost of construction of roads which are not in the State highway system in the same manner as is provided by law for construction of roads which are in the State highway system.
SECTION 57-5-750. Contracts with counties for farm-to-market roads.
The Department may contract with any of the counties in this State for the construction and improvement by any such county of any farm-to-market road in the State highway system within such county and may pay for the construction and improvement of such road, provided the cost of such construction and improvement is not greater than the cost of similar work would be if performed by contract or by the Department's forces. Any road constructed or improved under the provisions hereof shall be paid for by the Department and the cost thereof charged to the allocation of the county in which such road is constructed. The roads constructed by the counties under the provisions hereof shall be constructed and built according to standards and specifications required by the Department. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to mean that the Department shall pay the cost of the construction or improvement of roads already constructed and improved.
SECTION 57-5-760. Reimbursement agreements with counties for construction of farm-to-market and secondary roads.
The Department of Transportation is hereby authorized to enter into reimbursement agreements with the several counties of the State for the construction of farm-to-market and secondary roads financed through the issuance of bonds and reimbursed from funds accruing under the provisions of Section 12-27-400.
This reimbursement shall be made in annual installments, in amounts not exceeding the annual maturity principal on the bonds to be issued by the county, out of the apportionment of funds accruing for construction in the county under the Department of Transportation's farm-to-market construction program, if so much thereof shall accrue for such construction in the county. The Department of Transportation shall not be obligated to the repayment to the county for any installment due under its reimbursement agreement unless sufficient amounts for such installments shall accrue to the credit of the county under the state farm-to-market construction program. The Department of Transportation shall not be required to pay any interest to the county for funds turned over to the department pursuant to the provisions of this section. If, during any year hereafter, the apportionment to which farm-to-market construction in the county is entitled exceeds the sum required to meet the annual installment of principal of the bonds in that year, then such excess shall be applied by the department as if no reimbursement agreement had been entered into.
The reimbursement agreement shall be upon such other terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the department and the governing bodies of the several counties.
SECTION 57-5-770. Projects in which water-controlling device reduces cost of highway construction.
When, in the construction or repair of any State highway, a third less may be expended by the State, in conjunction with other funds herein provided for, for the approach to or the crossing of any waterway, creek or river, through the building of a dam, levee or other facility for controlling water, constructing ditches or waterways or doing some other thing to control water, the Department, in its discretion, may estimate the cost of the repair or the construction of the necessary bridge, viaduct or other approach, together with that part of the highway immediately affected thereby, such estimate to be based upon the cost without such water-controlling device, and the Department may allot to or reimburse, or enter into contracts looking to that end, as provided in the law of this State, on account of the building of such highway immediately affected by such approach and the approach and the construction of such water-controlling device as the Department may plan, such reimbursement, reimbursement agreement or allotment to be made to any county, municipality or other agency in the sum of two thirds of the estimated costs of the structure and the highway immediately affected thereby without such water-controlling device, upon such county, municipality or other agency entering into such bond as the Department may consider as surety for the completion of the whole project as planned by the Department. The word "agency" shall mean any person complying with the terms of this section.
SECTION 57-5-780. Execution of reimbursement agreements in project involving water-controlling device; validity.
Any such agreement executed by other than the Department shall be valid and binding when signed by such person as may agree to donate or appropriate funds for such project, and the signing by the executive officers of a private corporation, municipality or county shall be a sufficient execution of the agreement to bind the same. Reimbursement agreements entered into by the Department in such connection shall be executed according to the requirements of the statutes of force at the time of the execution thereof.
SECTION 57-5-790. Construction of project involving water-controlling device.
Any such structure and all parts thereof shall be made according to plans and specifications approved by the Department.
SECTION 57-5-800. Proportion of Department's payments for project involving water-controlling device.
The Department, in its discretion, may expend as provided herein upon such project as is mentioned in Section 57-5-770, whether it be the immediate approach, bridge or highway immediately affected thereby or a water-controlling device, two thirds of the amount estimated as necessary to cross such waterway, creek or river without such water-controlling device. And the remainder of the cost of the entire project of the bridge or approach or both the water-controlling device and that part of the highway immediately affected thereby shall be borne by the county or municipality in which the project may be located and any other contributors, including the Federal Government, that may see fit to donate or appropriate money therefor.
SECTION 57-5-810. Extent of construction and maintenance of State highways in municipalities; city utilities.
The construction, reconstruction and maintenance authorized in Section 57-5-140 may include all necessary provisions for the operation and parking of vehicles, sidewalks for pedestrians, gutters, storm drains and such other structures within the limits of the highway right-of-way as may, in the judgment of the Department, be essential for highway service and to preserve and protect the highway investment. The municipalities may, however, with the approval of the Department, place and maintain such city utilities within the highway right-of-way as may be in accord with sound engineering practices, but the work by municipalities of placing these utilities within the highway right-of-way and the maintenance thereof shall be conducted so as not to interfere unduly with the traffic on the highway, and all expenses in connection therewith, including restoration of any highway surfacing or facilities damaged or impaired, shall be borne by the municipality.
The construction, reconstruction and maintenance authorized in Section 57-5-140 may also include any project in a municipality or urban area for area-wide traffic control systems and other improvements which directly facilitate and control traffic flow into, along, from or across designated State highways, such as grade separation of intersections, widening of lanes and channelization of traffic. The State Highway Department shall not, however, be liable for damages to property or injuries to persons, as otherwise provided for in Section 57-5-1810, as a consequence of the placing, maintaining, or removing of any such utilities by the municipality, or by others, pursuant to permission of the municipality.
SECTION 57-5-820. Consent of municipality to work on State highways; exception; definitions.
As used in this section and Section 57-5-830:
"Structurally deficient" means not adequate to handle the vehicle weights authorized on roads leading to them.
"Functionally obsolete" means narrow clearances or sharp roadway approach angles that make passage difficult or hazardous, or with too few lanes for existing traffic needs.
All work to be performed by the Department on state highways within a municipality must be with the consent and approval of the proper municipal authorities, except that work performed or to be performed on a bridge and its approaches, certified by the Department as functionally obsolete or structurally deficient, to remove, replace, or improve such bridge and its approaches shall not require prior consent and approval of a municipal authority if the bridge crosses the intracoastal waterway.
SECTION 57-5-830. Assent of municipality to plans; exception.
In every case of a proposed permanent improvement, construction, reconstruction, or alteration by the Department of any highway or highway facility within a municipality, the municipality may review and approve the plans before the work is started; except that a municipality may not have the right to review and approve plans to remove, replace, or improve a bridge and its approaches within its limits where such bridge and its approaches have been certified by the Department to be functionally obsolete or structurally deficient and if the bridge crosses the intracoastal waterway.
SECTION 57-5-840. Alterations by municipality of State highway facilities.
A municipality may not alter any State highway facility without the approval of the Department, and any use made by the city of the highway or highway right of way for city utilities, or for other purposes shall be subject to approval of the Department.
SECTION 57-5-850. Source of funds for system.
The State highway system shall be built, constructed and maintained from any moneys derived from the automobile license tax, gasoline tax and other special imposts upon highway users, Federal aid and other grants-in-aid and such other moneys as may from time to time be made available.
SECTION 57-5-860. Construction of facilities for access to public landings; liability to users.
The Department, in its discretion, may enter into and carry out agreements with the governing body of any county providing that the Department may construct ways, spurs or ramps on any of its rights of way providing access from any State highway to any public landing on any waters whenever such landing has been or shall be constructed and maintained by any county. The costs of any such ways, spurs or ramps shall be borne by the maintenance fund allocated to any such county by the Department. Any persons using the ways, ramps, spurs, landings or facilities shall do so at their own risk, the immunity of the State, the Department and any county involved being expressly retained. The provisions of Sections 57-5-1810 to 57-5-1860 and 57-17-810 to 57-17-860 and any laws waiving such immunity are declared inapplicable hereto.
SECTION 57-5-870. Construction of access roads and recreation facilities under agreements with Department of Natural Resources.
The Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources are authorized to enter into cooperative agreements for the construction of access roads and recreation facilities in any county in the State.
The agreements may provide for the Department of Transportation to prepare the necessary plans; provide construction engineering and inspection; and award the necessary construction contracts, subject to the written approval of the Department of Natural Resources. All such contracts shall provide for payments for work performed to be made by the Department of Natural Resources from its funds. Upon completion of the construction work, the Department of Transportation shall reimburse the Department of Natural Resources out of farm-to-market construction funds apportioned to the county in which the work is performed not exceeding the actual cost of constructing any such secondary roads or one half the total cost of the project provided for in the cooperative agreement, whichever is less. The Department of Transportation shall pay from its farm-to-market construction funds apportioned to such county the cost of engineering and inspection. The roads shall become a part of the state highway secondary system upon their completion.
CONTROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAY FACILITIES; PRIVATE SIDE ROADS, DRIVEWAYS AND THE LIKE
SECTION 57-5-1010. Definitions.
When used in this article:
(1) "Controlled-access facility" means a State highway or section of State highway especially designed for through traffic, and over, from or to which highway owners or occupants of abutting property or others shall have only a controlled right or easement of access;
(2) "Frontage road" means a highway, road or street which is auxiliary to and located on the side of another highway, road or street for service to abutting property and adjacent areas and for the control of access to such other highway, road or street; and
(3) "Department" means the Department of Transportation.
SECTION 57-5-1020. Establishment and maintenance of controlled-access facilities.
The Department may designate, establish, abandon, improve, construct, maintain and regulate controlled-access facilities as a part of the State highway primary system, national system of interstate highways and Federal-aid primary system whenever the Department determines that traffic conditions, present or future, justify such controlled-access facilities.
SECTION 57-5-1030. Designation and establishment of new or existing highways as controlled-access facilities.
The Department may designate and establish controlled-access highways as new and additional facilities, or an existing highway may be designated as a controlled-access facility, or included in a new controlled-access facility.
SECTION 57-5-1040. Regulation of access to controlled-access facilities.
The Department may so design any controlled-access facility and so regulate or prohibit access as to best serve the traffic for which such facility is intended. No person shall have any right of ingress or egress to, from or across controlled-access facilities to or from abutting property or lands, except at such designated places at which access may be permitted, upon such terms and conditions as may be specified from time to time by the Department.
SECTION 57-5-1050. Elimination of intersections.
The Department may provide for the elimination of intersections at grades with existing State or county roads and city or town streets or other public ways, if the public interest shall be served thereby, or may provide for the elimination of intersections at grade by closing off intersecting roads or streets at the right of way boundary line of such controlled-access facilities. No city or town street or other public way shall be opened into or connected with such controlled-access facility without the consent of the Department, and the respective city, town, county or other political subdivision authorities may close local roads and streets in connection with the establishment of controlled-access facilities and make all necessary agreements with the Department to fully perform and fulfill the purposes of this article.
SECTION 57-5-1060. Establishment and maintenance of frontage roads.
The Department, in order to carry out the purposes and provisions of this article, may designate, establish, improve, construct, abandon, maintain and regulate frontage roads and exercise the same jurisdiction thereover as is authorized over controlled-access facilities under this article. Such frontage roads shall be separated from controlled-access facilities as may be deemed proper and necessary by the Department.
SECTION 57-5-1070. Acquisition of property for controlled-access facilities; rights of abutting owners.
The Department may acquire such lands and property, including rights of access, as may be needed for controlled-access facilities, by gift, devise, purchase or condemnation, in the same manner as now or hereafter authorized by law for acquiring property or property rights in connection with other State highways. Along new highway locations abutting property owners shall not be entitled, as a matter of right, to access to such new locations, and any denial of such rights of access shall not be deemed as grounds for special damages.
SECTION 57-5-1080. Permit required to open private driveway or side-road entrance or exit to primary highway.
On all highways or sections of highways in the State highway primary system not designated as controlled-access facilities, it shall be unlawful for any person to open up, construct or reconstruct any private driveway or side-road entrance or exit thereto which is intended for use by any vehicles in entering or leaving such highway unless a permit for such driveway or side-road entrance or exit shall have been obtained from the Department.
SECTION 57-5-1090. Issuance or denial of permits; conditions; providing access or frontage roads.
The Department may issue permits for driveways and side-road entrances or exits as referred to in Section 57-5-1080, and include in such permits such requirements and restrictions for design and location of the driveways and side-road entrances or exits as may be deemed necessary by the Department to avoid creating a hazard to the traveling public. Such requirements and restrictions may limit the width of such driveways and side-road entrances and exits and restrict their location. The Department may deny any request for any permit for any driveway, side-road entrance or exit which in the judgment of the Department may create a hazard to the traveling public. Reasonable frontage roads or other access roads shall be provided to serve any property for which a permit for a direct entrance thereto or exit therefrom has been denied, and the Department may construct such frontage roads as may be deemed necessary.
SECTION 57-5-1100. Changing or closing existing private driveways or side-road entrances or exits; providing other access to highway.
Any such existing driveway or side-road entrance or exit constructed prior to February 16, 1956, and adjudged by the Department to be unsafe for the traveling public may be changed by the Department so as to eliminate any unsafe features or closed or displaced by substitution therefor of another driveway or side-road entrance or exit at such place or of such design as may be deemed safe, but no such existing side road or driveway may be closed unless other reasonable access to the highway is provided by a frontage road or otherwise.
SECTION 57-5-1110. Closing illegal private driveways or side-road entrances or exits.
The Department may barricade, displace or otherwise close any side-road or driveway entrance or exit constructed or maintained in violation of Sections 57-5-1080 to 57-5-1100 or of any of the provisions of any permit for the construction of such side-road or driveway entrance or exit.
SECTION 57-5-1120. Judicial review of Department's decisions involving private driveways or side-road entrances or exits.
Any abutting property owner or lessee may file an application within thirty days from a decision of the department in the administration of Sections 57-5-1080 to 57-5-1110 for a hearing in the matter before a circuit judge at chambers or in open court in the judicial circuit in which the property is located, and such court or judge is hereby vested with jurisdiction to set the matter for a hearing upon ten days' written notice to the department of such hearing and thereupon to determine whether the action of the department is in accordance with the provisions of law. The decision of the circuit judge may be appealed in the manner provided by the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules.
Provided, however, that the above procedure shall be an alternative method of relief and shall not abrogate or deny any property owners' rights as to relief under any existing law relating to the condemnation of property.
SECTION 57-5-1130. Penalties.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days.
SECTION 57-5-1140. Installation of residential rights-of-way entrances and aprons to state highways.
The department shall construct at its expense with its maintenance forces the portion within the right-of-way of entrances and aprons to state highways at any point necessary to render adequate ingress and egress to the abutting property at locations where the driveways will not constitute hazardous conditions. The driveways must be of access to existing developed property or property that is being developed for the personal use of the owner and not for speculative or resale purposes. An entrance ten feet wide (paved portion) measured at right angles to the centerline of the driveway is the maximum width for one-way traffic. An entrance sixteen feet wide (paved portion) is the maximum width for two-way traffic. If pipe culvert is necessary for drainage, the department shall install the amount necessary for twelve inch, fifteen inch, eighteen inch, twenty-four inch, or thirty inch pipe. Should the driveway installation require pipe larger than thirty inches, the department may install the pipe and charge the homeowner for the difference in cost between thirty inch pipe and larger diameter pipe required. Driveways requiring drainage structures other than pipe must be brought to the attention of the State Maintenance Engineer. The entrances to be constructed as outlined in this section shall include base and surfacing as necessary to provide an all weather driveway entrance. If wider entrances or additional entrances are requested and approved, the construction may be performed by the department at the owner's expense.
SECTION 57-5-1310. Statement of purpose and intent.
This article is intended to provide an additional and an alternative method for the provision of and financing of highways and appurtenant facilities to the end that such highways may be undertaken in such manner as may best be calculated to expedite relief of hazardous and congested traffic conditions on the highways in the State and provide acceptable avenues for commerce and intercommunications by vehicular traffic among the several sections of the State. In effecting this enactment, the General Assembly intends that the indebtedness herein authorized fall within the category permitted by paragraph 9 of Section 13 of Article X of the Constitution of South Carolina.
SECTION 57-5-1320. Definitions.
Unless the context indicates another meaning or intent:
(1) "Department" means the Department of Transportation;
(2) "Turnpike facility" means any express highway or limited access highway constructed under the provisions of this article by the department, whether or not financed with turnpike bonds, including any bridge, tunnel, overpass, underpass, interchange, entrance plaza, approach, toll house, service station and administration and storage and other buildings and facilities which the department considers necessary or desirable. A turnpike facility constitutes a portion or extension of any existing or proposed highway in the state highway system;
(3) "Bonds or turnpike bonds" means revenue bonds of the State authorized under the provisions of this article and Paragraph (9), Section 13, Article X of the South Carolina Constitution;
(4) "State board" means the State Budget and Control Board;
(5) "Turnpike facility revenues" means all revenues resulting from tolls or other charges derived from the operation of a turnpike facility, including revenues derived from concession leases or other concessionaire operated facilities;
(6) "Bond resolution" means the resolution of the state board making provision for the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds;
(7) "General obligation bonds" means state highway bonds issued pursuant to Paragraph (6)(a), Section 13, Article X of the South Carolina Constitution.
SECTION 57-5-1330. General powers of Department; feasibility studies; acquisition of land and property; other powers granted by law; contracts.
(1) The department may designate, establish, plan, improve, construct, maintain, operate, and regulate turnpike facilities as a part of the state highway system or any federal aid system whenever the department determines the traffic conditions, present or future, justify the facilities, except that the department may not designate as a turnpike facility any highway, road, bridge, or other transportation facility funded in whole or in part by a local option sales and use tax as provided in Chapter 37 of Title 4. The department may utilize funds available for the maintenance of the state highway system for the maintenance of any turnpike facility financed pursuant to this article.
2. In every highway construction project, except federal and state secondary projects, rehabilitation and widening of federal and state primary and secondary road and bridge projects and highway safety projects, the Department shall consider making all or part of the highway construction a turnpike facility and financing it by the use of turnpike bonds. It shall make an entry in the construction project file indicating whether or not it determines making all or part of the project a turnpike facility. If the Department determines it is feasible to make all or part of the construction project a turnpike facility, it may engage in the preliminary estimates and studies incident to the determination of the feasibility or practicability of constructing any toll road as it from time to time considers necessary and the cost of the preliminary estimates and studies must be paid from the general highway fund and must be reimbursed from funds provided under this authority only if the studies and estimates lead to the construction of a toll road.
3. The Department may acquire such lands and property including rights of access as may be needed for turnpike facilities by gift, devise, purchase, or condemnation by easement or in fee simple in the same manner as now or hereafter authorized by law for acquiring property or property rights in connection with other state highways.
4. In designating, establishing, planning, abandoning, improving, constructing, maintaining and regulating turnpike facilities the Department may exercise such authorizations as are granted to the Department by the provisions of other statute law applicable to the state highway system, except as they may be inconsistent with the provisions included herein.
5. The Department may contract with any person, partnership, association or corporation desiring the use of any part of the turnpike facility, including the right-of-way adjoining the paved portion, for placing thereon telephone, telegraph, electric light or power lines, gas stations, garages, stores, hotels and restaurants or for any other purpose, except tracks for railroad or railway use and to fix the terms, conditions, rents and rates of charges for such use provided that a sufficient number of the aforementioned facilities shall be authorized to be established in each service area along any such turnpike project to permit reasonable competition by private business in the public interest. Revenues from these contracts would be included in turnpike facility revenues.
SECTION 57-5-1335. Department to make feasibility study prior to bridge construction qualifying as turnpike facility.
The Department of Transportation, before constructing a bridge or replacing an existing bridge which qualifies as a turnpike facility as defined in Section 57-5-1320, shall conduct the feasibility study required by Section 57-5-1330 and shall forward copies of the study to the Chairman of the Transportation and Finance Committees of the Senate and the Education and Public Works and Ways and Means Committees of the House of Representatives within fifteen days of the completion of the study.
SECTION 57-5-1340. Additional powers.
In addition to the powers listed above, the Department of Highways and Public Transportation may:
1. Request the issuance of turnpike bonds for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of any one or more turnpike projects;
2. Fix and revise from time to time and charge and collect tolls for transit over each turnpike facility constructed by it;
3. Combine, for the purposes of financing the facilities, any two or more turnpike facilities;
4. Control access to turnpike facilities;
5. To the extent permitted by a bond resolution, expend turnpike facility or facilities revenues in advertising the facilities and services of the turnpike facility or facilities to the traveling public;
6. Receive and accept from any federal agency grants for or in the aid of the construction of any turnpike facility;
7. Establish a separate division to administer turnpike facilities and a separate turnpike facility account.
8. Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this article.
SECTION 57-5-1350. Request for issuance of turnpike bonds; form and contents of request.
Whenever it becomes necessary that monies be raised for a turnpike facility, the commission may make request to the state board for the issuance of turnpike bonds. The request may be in the form of resolution adopted at any regular or special meeting of the commission. The request shall set forth on the face thereof or by schedule attached thereto:
1. the turnpike facility proposed to be constructed;
2. the amount required for feasibility studies, planning, design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction of the turnpike facility;
3. a tentative time schedule setting forth the period of time for which the sum request must be expended;
4. a debt service table showing the estimated annual principal and interest requirements for the requested turnpike bonds;
5. any feasibility study obtained by the commission relating to the proposed turnpike facility;
6. the commission's recommendations relating to any covenant to be made in the bond resolution of the state board respecting competition between the proposed turnpike facility and possible future highways whose construction would have an adverse effect upon the turnpike revenues which would otherwise be derived by the proposed turnpike facility.
SECTION 57-5-1360. Power and duty of State Board upon receipt of request.
Following the receipt of a request pursuant to Section 57-5-1350, the state board shall review the request and, to the extent that it approves the request, it may effect, by resolution duly adopted, the issuance of turnpike bonds, or pending their issuance, may effect the issuance of bond anticipation notes pursuant to Title 11, Chapter 17. A resolution approving any proposed turnpike bonds may not be adopted unless before approval the state board conducts, after not less than ten days' published notice, a public hearing in the City of Columbia.
SECTION 57-5-1370. Authority to issue bonds.
Turnpike bonds may be issued from time to time under the conditions prescribed by this article.
SECTION 57-5-1380. Turnpike revenue pledged for payment of bonds.
For the payment of the principal of and interest on all turnpike bonds, there is irrevocably pledged all turnpike revenues derived from the turnpike facility financed by the bonds to the extent and in the manner prescribed by the bond resolution. Any interest earned on turnpike facility account balances must be credited to the turnpike facility account.
SECTION 57-5-1390. Bond interest, maturity and redemption.
Turnpike bonds shall bear interest, payable on occasions prescribed by the State Board, at a rate not exceeding the maximum prescribed by Section 11-9-350. Each issue of turnpike bonds shall mature on the occasion prescribed by the State Board, not exceeding forty years from the date the bonds bear. Turnpike bonds may, in the discretion of the State Board, be made subject to redemption at par and accrued interest, plus such redemption premium as it approves and on occasions and under conditions it prescribes. Turnpike bonds are not redeemable before maturity unless they contain a statement to that effect.
SECTION 57-5-1400. Sale of bonds; expenses incident to sale.
Turnpike bonds must be sold at private or public sale under conditions prescribed by the State Board. For the purpose of bringing about successful sales of the bonds, the State Board may do all things ordinarily and customarily done in connection with the sale of state or municipal bonds. All expenses incident to the sales of the bonds must be paid from the proceeds of the sale of the bonds.
SECTION 57-5-1410. Execution of bonds; authentication.
All turnpike bonds must be executed in the name of and on behalf of the State of South Carolina and must be signed by the Governor and the State Treasurer. The Great Seal of the State must be affixed to, impressed, or reproduced upon each of them and they must be attested by the Secretary of State. If approved by the State Board, any one or two of the officers may, in lieu of manually signing, employ the use of the facsimile of their signatures in executing any turnpike bonds.
SECTION 57-5-1420. Application of bond proceeds.
The proceeds derived from the sale of turnpike bonds must be applied only to the purposes for which bonds are issued.
SECTION 57-5-1430. Denominations.
Turnpike bonds must each be in the denomination of one thousand dollars or some multiple thereof.
SECTION 57-5-1440. Form of bonds; to whom payable.
Turnpike bonds issued pursuant to this article may be in the form of negotiable coupon bonds, payable to bearer, with the privilege to the holder of having them registered in his name on the books of the State Treasurer as to principal only, or as to both principal and interest, and the principal or both principal and interest, as the case may be, thus made payable to the registered holder, subject to conditions the State Board prescribes. Turnpike bonds so registered as to principal in the name of the holder may thereafter be registered as payable to bearer and made payable accordingly.
Turnpike bonds may also be issued as fully registered bonds with both principal and interest made payable only to the registered holder. The fully registered bonds are subject to transfer under conditions the State Board prescribes. The fully registered bonds may, if the proceedings authorizing their issuance so provide, be convertible into negotiable coupon bonds with the attributes set forth in the first paragraph of this section.
SECTION 57-5-1450. State Board resolution to issue bonds; terms and conditions.
(A) The state board, by resolution duly adopted, may make provision for the issuance of turnpike bonds. In the resolution, the state board may prescribe:
(1) the amount, denomination, and numbering of turnpike bonds to be issued;
(2) the date as of which they must be issued;
(3) the maturity schedule for the retirement of the turnpike bonds;
(4) the form or forms of the bonds of the particular issue;
(5) the redemption provisions, if any, applicable to the bonds;
(6) the maximum rate or rates of interest the bonds shall bear;
(7) the specific purposes for which the bonds must be issued;
(8) the purposes for which the proceeds of the bonds must be expended, in the discretion of the state board, a portion of the proceeds may be used as capitalized interest during the period of construction and initial operation and for the creation of appropriate debt service reserves;
(9) the method and conditions by which turnpike revenues from the turnpike facility so financed must be collected and utilized;
(10) the extent to which and the conditions under which additional parity bonds may be issued;
(11) any covenant considered necessary protecting the turnpike facility so financed from possible future competition from other highways or comparable facilities;
(12) the method by which the bonds must be sold and such other matters as may be considered necessary in order to effect the sale, issuance, and delivery of the bonds.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this article, all expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this article are payable solely from funds provided under the authority of this article or from any funds provided by the federal government or from other special sources and no liability or obligation may be incurred by the department beyond the extent to which money has been provided under the provisions of this article.
(C) The resolution shall set forth further a finding on the part of the state board that the estimate of turnpike facility revenues made by the commission and approved by the state board indicates that collection from turnpike revenues for applicable fiscal years is not less than that required for annual debt service requirements of the requested turnpike bonds.
SECTION 57-5-1460. Power and duty of Governor and State Treasurer upon receipt of bond resolution.
If following presentation of a certified copy of the bond resolution it appears to the satisfaction of the Governor and the State Treasurer that the estimated collection from the sources of revenue in applicable future fiscal years are not less than that required for annual debt service requirements for the requested turnpike bonds, the Governor and State Treasurer may effect the delivery of bonds in accordance with the bond resolution.
SECTION 57-5-1470. Exemption of bonds from taxation.
All turnpike bonds issued under this article, and the interest thereon, are exempt from all state, county, municipal, school district, and other taxes or assessment, direct or indirect, general or special, imposed by the State of South Carolina, whether imposed for the purpose of general revenue or otherwise, except inheritance, estate, or transfer taxes. Each turnpike facility constitutes a portion of the state highway system and as such is not subject to ad valorem or other forms of taxation by the State or any of its political subdivisions.
SECTION 57-5-1480. Lawful for fiduciaries and sinking fund commissions to invest in turnpike bonds.
It is lawful for all executors, administrators, guardians, and other fiduciaries and all sinking fund commissions, including the State Budget and Control Board in its capacities as trustee of the funds of the South Carolina Retirement System and as manager and administrator of other state sinking funds, to invest any monies in their hands in turnpike bonds.
SECTION 57-5-1490. Penalty for failure to pay toll.
Any person who uses any turnpike project and fails or refuses to pay the toll provided therefor shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, and in addition thereto the Department shall have a lien upon the vehicle driven by such person for the amount of such toll and may take and retain possession thereof.
SECTION 57-5-1495. Collection of tolls.
(A) As used in this section:
(1) "Electronic toll collection system" means a system of collecting tolls or charges which is capable of charging an account holder the appropriate toll or charge by transmission of information from an electronic device on a motor vehicle to the toll lane, which information is used to charge the account the appropriate toll or charge.
(2) "Lessor" means any person, corporation, firm, partnership, agency, association, or organization renting or leasing vehicles to a lessee under a rental agreement, lease, or otherwise wherein the said lessee has the exclusive use of the vehicle for any period of time.
(3) "Lessee" means any person, corporation, firm, partnership, agency, association, or organization that rents, leases, or contracts for the use of one or more vehicles and has exclusive use of the vehicles for any period of time.
(4) "Owner" means a person or an entity who, at the time of a toll violation and with respect to the vehicle involved in the violation, is the registrant or co-registrant of the vehicle with the division of motor vehicles of this State or another state, territory, district, province, nation, or jurisdiction.
(5) "Photo-monitoring system" means a vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with a toll collection facility which automatically produces one or more photographs, one or more microphotographs, a videotape, or other recorded images of a vehicle at the time it is used or operated in violation of toll collection regulations.
(6) "Toll violation" means the passage of a vehicle through a toll collection point without payment of the required toll.
(7) "Vehicle" means a device in, upon, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
(B) Notwithstanding another provision of law, when a vehicle is driven through a turnpike facility without payment of the required toll, the owner and operator of the vehicle is jointly and severally liable to the Department of Transportation to pay the required toll, administrative fees, and civil penalty as provided in this section. The department or its authorized agent may enforce collection of the required toll as provided for in this section.
(C) A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by an agent of the department, or a facsimile of it, that a toll violation has occurred, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images produced by a photo-monitoring system, is prima facie evidence of the violation and is admissible in any proceeding charging a toll violation pursuant to this section. A photograph, microphotograph, videotape, or other recorded image evidencing a violation must be available for inspection by the party charged and is admissible into evidence in a proceeding to adjudicate liability for a violation.
(D) The department or its authorized agent may assess and collect administrative fees of:
(1) not more than ten dollars for the first toll violation within a period of one year;
(2) not more than twenty-five dollars for each subsequent toll violation within a period of one year.
(E) Upon failure to pay the required toll and administrative fees to the department within thirty days of the notice, the owner or operator may be cited for failure to pay a toll pursuant to this subsection and, upon an adjudication of liability, is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed fifty dollars for each violation as contained in subsection (F). An owner or operator who has been convicted of a violation of Section 57-5-1490 is not liable for the penalty imposed by this subsection.
(F) If a magistrate or municipal judge determines that the person or entity charged with liability under this section is liable, the magistrate or municipal judge shall collect the unpaid tolls and administrative fee and forward them to the department or its authorized agent. The magistrate or municipal judge also may impose a civil penalty of up to fifty dollars for each violation, plus court costs and attorney's fees. The civil penalty must be distributed in the same manner as other fines and penalties collected by the magistrate. Notwithstanding another provision of law:
(1) adjudication of liability pursuant to this section must be made by the magistrate's court of the county in which the toll facility is located or the municipal court of the city in which the toll facility is located; and
(2) an imposition of liability pursuant to this section must be based upon a preponderance of evidence submitted and is not a conviction as an operator pursuant to Section 57-5-1490.
(G) The department or its authorized agent shall send:
(1) a "First Notice to Pay Toll" to the owner or operator of a vehicle which, on one occasion in any twelve-month period, is identified as having been involved in a toll violation. The first notice must require payment to the department of the required toll, plus an administrative fee as provided for in subsection (D), within thirty days of the mailing of the notice;
(2) a "Second Notice to Pay Toll" to the owner or operator of a vehicle which is identified as having been involved in a second toll violation in a twelve-month period, or who has failed to respond to a "First Notice to Pay Toll" within the required time period. The second notice must require payment to the department of the required tolls, plus an administrative fee as provided for in subsection (D) for each violation within thirty days of the mailing of the notice;
(3) a "Failure to Pay a Toll" citation to the owner or operator of a vehicle which is identified as having been involved in a third toll violation in a twelve-month period, or who has failed to respond to the second notice within the required time period. The citation requires payment to the department of the unpaid tolls, plus an administrative fee of not more than twenty-five dollars for each violation, within thirty days, or the recipient's appearance in magistrate's court of the county in which the violation occurred or the municipal court of the city in which the violation has occurred to contest the citation. The citation is a traffic citation within the meaning of Chapter 25, Title 56; and
(4) notwithstanding another provision of law, the notices and citation required by subsection (G) by first-class mail to the owner or operator of the vehicle identified as being involved in the toll violation. If a vehicle is registered in two or more names, the notices or citation must be mailed to the first name listed on the registration records. Notwithstanding another provision of law, personal delivery of the notices and citation is not required. A manual or automatic record of the mailing of the notices or citation prepared in the ordinary course of business is prima facie evidence of the mailing of the notices or citation;
(5) the notices and citation required by this subsection must contain the following information:
(a) the name and address of the person or entity alleged to be liable for a failure to pay a toll pursuant to this section;
(b) the registration number of the vehicle involved in the toll violation;
(c) the location where the toll violation took place;
(d) the date and time of the toll violation;
(e) the identification number of the photo-monitoring system which recorded the violation or other document locator number;
(f) information advising of the manner and time in which liability may be contested; and
(g) warning advising that failure to contest liability in the manner and time provided in this section is an admission of liability.
(H) If a vehicle owner receives a notice or citation pursuant to this section for a period during which the vehicle involved in the toll violation was:
(1) reported to a law enforcement division as having been stolen, a valid defense to an allegation of liability for a failure to pay a toll is that the vehicle had been reported to a law enforcement division as stolen before the time the violation occurred and had not been recovered by the time of the violation. If an owner receives a notice or citation pursuant to this section for a violation which occurred during a time period in which the vehicle was stolen, but which had not been reported to a law enforcement division as having been stolen, a valid defense to an allegation of liability for a toll violation pursuant to this section is that the vehicle was reported as stolen within two hours after the discovery of the theft by the owner. For purposes of asserting the defense provided by this subitem, a certified copy of the police report on the stolen vehicle, sent by first-class mail to the department, its agent, or the magistrate's court or the municipal court having jurisdiction of the citation within thirty days after receipt of the notices or citation, is sufficient;
(2) leased to another person or entity, the lessor is not liable for the violation if the lessor sends to the department or to the court having jurisdiction over the citation a copy of the rental, lease, or another contract document covering the vehicle on the date of the violation, with the name and address of the lessee clearly legible, within thirty days after receiving the notices or citation. Failure to send the information within the thirty-day period renders the lessor liable for the unpaid tolls and any administrative fees or penalties assessed pursuant to this section. If the lessor complies with the provisions of this subitem, the lessee of the vehicle on the date of the violation is subject to liability for the failure to pay the toll if the department or its agent mails a notice of liability to the lessee within thirty days after receipt of a copy of the rental, lease, or other contract document.
(I) If a person or entity receives a notice or citation pursuant to this section, it is a valid defense to liability that the person or entity that receives the notice was not the owner of the vehicle at the time of the toll violation.
(J) If an owner who pays the required tolls, fees, or penalties, or all of them pursuant to this section was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation, the owner may maintain an action for indemnification against the operator.
(K) An owner of a vehicle is not liable for a penalty imposed pursuant to this section if the operator of the vehicle has been convicted of a violation of Section 57-5-1490 for the same incident.
(L) On turnpike facilities where electronic toll collection systems are utilized:
(1) a person who wants to make payment of tolls electronically must apply to the department or its authorized agent to become an account holder. The department or its authorized agent, in its discretion, may deny the application of a person. A person whose application is accepted must execute an account holder's agreement. The terms of the account holder's agreement must be established by the department;
(2) the department shall ensure that adequate and timely notice is given to all electronic toll collection system account holders to inform them when their accounts are delinquent. The owner of a vehicle who is an account holder under the electronic toll collection system is not liable for a failure to pay a toll pursuant to the provisions of this section unless the department or its authorized agent has first sent a notice of delinquency to the account holder and the account holder was delinquent at the time of the violation;
(3) the department shall not sell, distribute, or make available the names and addresses of electronic toll collection system account holders, without the account holder's consent, to any entity that uses the information for commercial purposes. However, this restriction does not preclude the exchange of this information between entities with jurisdiction over or operating a toll highway bridge or tunnel;
(4) information or data collected by the department or its authorized agent for the purpose of establishing and monitoring electronic toll collection accounts is not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act;
(5) notwithstanding another provision of law, all information, data, photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images prepared pursuant to this section must be for the exclusive use of the department or its authorized agent in the discharge of its duties under this section and must not be open to the public, subject to the disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, nor used in a court in an action or a proceeding pending unless the action or proceeding relates to the imposition of or indemnification for liability pursuant to this section.
(M) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, school buses transporting school children for a school event, shall be exempt from the payment of any tolls.
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AND PURCHASES
SECTION 57-5-1610. Reserves shall be provided for highway construction contracts.
Except with the approval of the State Budget and Control Board, the Department of Transportation shall not let any highway construction contracts unless reserves for such contracts shall have been provided for out of either (a) current balances in the state highway fund, (b) federal aid obligated for such contracts or (c) estimated revenue balances accruing during the period in which payments are to become due on such contracts; it being the intention of the General Assembly by the enactment of the section that the department shall not let any highway construction contracts which are contingent upon additional tax revenue legislation or upon receipt of the proceeds of anticipated bond sales for the payment of such contracts, unless the amount of highway construction contracts proposed to be let shall receive the approval of the State Budget and Control Board.
SECTION 57-5-1620. Advertisement and award of certain construction contracts; emergency construction, repairs or purchases.
Awards by the department of construction contracts for ten thousand dollars and more shall be made only after the work to be awarded has been advertised for at least two weeks in one or more daily newspapers in this State, but where circumstances warrant, the department may advertise for longer periods of time and in other publication media. Awards of contracts, if made, shall be made in each case to the lowest qualified bidder whose bid shall have been formally submitted in accordance with the requirements of the department. However, in cases of emergencies, as may be determined by the Director of the Department of Transportation, the department, without formalities of advertising, may employ contractors and others to perform construction or repair work or furnish materials and supplies for such construction and repair work, but all such cases of this kind shall be reported in detail and made public at the next succeeding meeting of the commission.
SECTION 57-5-1630. Extension of construction contracts to include additional work.
Unless approved in advance by the commission, no construction contract may be extended to include work not contemplated in the original award, except within the limitations imposed by the contract. Where in the judgment of the Director of the Department of Transportation it is in the public's interest and prices advantageous to the department are obtained, the department may extend contracts to include additional work in advance of the approval of the commission, if on the other hand to delay an extension until the next commission meeting an advantage to the department would be lost, but in every case, every contract extension must be subject to approval by the commission at the next succeeding meeting. The extension of a contract to include additional work in advance of the approval of the commission may not exceed fifty percent of the total amount of the original contract being so extended or the sum of one hundred fifty thousand dollars, whichever amount is less. Advertisement in the case of extensions of contracts under this section shall consist of detailed reports of the transactions made public at open meetings of the commission.
SECTION 57-5-1640. Contracts with railroad companies and property owners or lessees for constructing crossings and moving structures.
The Department may, without formalities of advertising, enter into lawful and appropriate agreements and contracts with railroad companies for the construction, reconstruction, or modifications of railroad-highway grade separation crossings or track or other property rearrangement and with other persons, similarly jointly interested in particular items as property owners or lessees, for moving, clearing, rearranging or relocating public utilities, buildings and other structures.
SECTION 57-5-1650. Regulations as to qualifications of contractors permitted to bid on work.
The Department may establish such reasonable regulations as the Department may deem appropriate with respect to the qualifications of contractors allowed to bid on work of the Department. Such regulations may fix eligibility requirements for bidders according to available capital and with due regard to experience and records of past performance. But in no case shall the eligibility rating of any bidder be influenced by nationality or place of residence. No regulations with respect to the qualifications of bidders shall become effective until at least thirty days after such regulations shall have been formally adopted and published.
SECTION 57-5-1660. Contractors' bonds; amounts and actions thereon.
(a) The Department of Transportation shall require that the contractor on every public highway construction contract, exceeding ten thousand dollars, furnish the Department of Transportation, county, or road district the following bonds, which shall become binding upon the award of the contract to such contractor:
(1) A performance and indemnity bond with a surety or sureties satisfactory to the authority awarding the contract, and in the full amount of the contract, and in no case less than ten thousand dollars, for the protection of the Department of Transportation, county, or road district.
(2) A payment bond with a surety or sureties satisfactory to the awarding authority, and in the amount of not less than fifty per cent of the contract, for the protection of all persons supplying labor and materials in the prosecution of work provided for in the contract for the use of each such person.
(b) Every person who has furnished labor, material, or rental equipment in the prosecution of the work provided for in such contract, in respect of which such a bond has been furnished under this section and who has not been paid in full therefor before the expiration of a period of ninety days after the day on which the last of the labor was done or performed by him or material or rental equipment was furnished or supplied by him for which such claim is made, shall have the right to sue on such bond for the amount, or the balance thereof, unpaid at the time of the institution of such suit and to prosecute such action to final execution and judgment for the sum or sums justly due him. A remote claimant shall have a right of action upon the bond only upon giving written notice by certified or registered mail to the contractor within ninety days from the date on which such person did or performed the last of the labor or furnished or supplied the last of the material or rental equipment for which claim is made, stating with substantial accuracy the amount claimed and the name of the party to whom material or rental equipment was furnished or supplied or for whom labor was done or performed. However, in no event shall the aggregate amount of any claim against such payment bond by a remote claimant exceed the amount due by the bonded contractor to the person to whom the remote claimant has supplied labor, materials, rental equipment, or services, unless the remote claimant has provided notice of furnishing labor, materials, or rental equipment to the bonded contractor. Such written notice to the bonded contractor shall be personally served or sent by fax or sent by electronic mail or sent by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, to the bonded contractor at any place the bonded contractor maintains a permanent office for the conduct of his business, or at the current address as shown on the records of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. After receiving the notice of furnishing labor, materials, or rental equipment, no payment by the bonded contractor shall lessen the amount recoverable by the remote claimant. However, in no event shall the aggregate amount of claims on the payment bond exceed the penal sum of the bond.
For purposes of this section, "bonded contractor" means the contractor or subcontractor furnishing the payment bond, and "remote claimant" means a person having a direct contractual relationship with a subcontractor, but no contractual relationship expressed or implied with the bonded contractor. No suit under this section shall be commenced after the expiration of one year after the date of the final settlement of the contract.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of any contracting authority to require a performance bond or other security in addition to those specified in this section.
(d) If the Department of Transportation enters into a public highway construction contract exceeding ten thousand dollars and requires that the contractor furnish a performance and indemnity bond, or a payment bond, or both of them, the department, the county, or the road district may not exact that the surety bond be furnished by a particular surety company or through a particular agent or broker.
SECTION 57-5-1670. Compensation of contractors for losses caused by injunctions.
The Department may determine losses sustained by contractors engaged on State highway projects incident to the suspension of work on such project by a court injunction order and may compensate such contractors for the amounts of the losses so determined. But this authority shall be limited to the payment of actual and unavoidable losses, not to include anticipated profits. Should any contractor be dissatisfied with the determination of his losses by the Department, such contractor may bring suit against the Department in the court of common pleas for the determination of the reasonableness of the amount of the award for such losses.
SECTION 57-5-1700. Certain sections shall not affect dealings with other government agencies.
Nothing in Sections 57-5-1620 to 57-5-1640, 57-5-1680 and 57-5-1690 shall affect the dealings of the Department with the Federal Government, the State government or any political subdivisions thereof or any agency or department of any of them.