SC Senate confirms new SCDOT secretary of transportation


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) – The state Senate confirmed the South Carolina Department of Transporation Commission’s choice for the next person to lead the agency.
State senators confirmed Justin Powell Tuesday to become the next secretary of transportation. He takes the spot held by Christy Hall, who retired in March.
“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.”
The SCDOT Commission appointed Powerll on Jan. 18. That appointment was reviewed by the Senate Transportation Committee, which voted unanimously to send a favorable report on Powell’s appointment to the full Senate for consideration.
“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.”
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Powell most recently served as chief operating officer managing the day-to-day operations of SCDOT including its $5 billion construction program and maintenance of the nation’s fourth-largest state highway system. Powell joined SCDOT in 2019 as deputy secretary for finance and administration with responsibility for SCDOT’s $2.7 billion budget and oversaw the growth of the construction program from $3 billion to $5 billion.
In 2022, he was promoted to chief of staff, serving as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation and led numerous strategic initiatives on the Secretary’s behalf.
Before working for SCDOT, he served as assistant county administrator in Horry County where he provided financial leadership to the county’s $500 million roads sales tax program, managed a project to restore freight rail service to a three-county region, and supported the county’s response to numerous disasters and subsequent resiliency efforts.
In addition, Powell has also worked at other local government agencies including Dorchester County, the city of Greenville, and Fairfax County, Virginia.
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