HomeColumbiaJustin Powell receives senate approval to lead South Carolina Department of Transportation

Justin Powell receives senate approval to lead South Carolina Department of Transportation

Columbia, South Carolina – On Tuesday, Justin Powell got the green light from South Carolina senators to take over as the new head of the South Carolina Department of Transportation, stepping into Christy Hall’s shoes following her retirement in March. Powell, who has been a key player at the department since 2019, was initially picked by the department’s commission on January 18th, a choice that the Senate Transportation Committee wholeheartedly supported before passing it on to the full Senate for a final nod.

Justin Powell got the green light from South Carolina senators to take over as the new head of the South Carolina Department of Transportation

“I appreciate the trust and confidence of the South Carolina Senate in my ability to lead this organization,” Powell said in a statement. “It is an honor to serve and to me there is no higher calling than to serve the people of South Carolina. I look forward to continuing the tremendous progress of the South Carolina Department of Transportation and to the bright future ahead for all South Carolinians.”

Before landing the top job, Powell was the department’s chief operating officer. In this role, he was in charge of the daily grind, overseeing a whopping $5 billion in construction work and the maintenance of a vast network of state highways – the fourth largest in the country, no less. Powell’s journey with the SCDOT started in 2019 when he came on board as the deputy secretary for finance and administration. He was tasked with managing the department’s $2.7 billion budget, during which he saw the construction program grow from $3 billion to $5 billion.

“Mr. Powell has demonstrated he is ready to lead SCDOT into the future as the Secretary of Transportation,” SCDOT Commission Chair Pamela Christopher said. “Together, we will continue our work to improve the road and bridge network across the state and to keep South Carolina moving.”

Read also: South Carolina Department of Corrections challenges ACLU lawsuit over inmate communications

In 2022, Justin Powell stepped up as the chief of staff for the South Carolina Department of Transportation. In this role, he became the go-to advisor for the Secretary of Transportation and spearheaded many key projects. His work was crucial in shaping the department’s direction. Before his time at the SCDOT, Powell had a significant role in Horry County as the assistant county administrator.

There, he took the lead on managing the finances for a massive $500 million roads sales tax program, played a part in bringing back freight rail service to a region spanning three counties, and was a key figure in the county’s efforts to bounce back from various disasters.

Read also: South Carolina joins 10 other states in lawsuit against President Joe Biden

Powell’s experience isn’t limited to just one place. He has a background that spans multiple local government roles across different areas. He’s contributed his skills and knowledge to the teams in Dorchester County, the city of Greenville, and even Fairfax County in Virginia. Through these roles, Powell has accumulated a wealth of experience in managing projects and leading initiatives that have prepared him well for his responsibilities at the SCDOT.Top of Form

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