MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The South Carolina House of Representatives has passed an infrastructure bill that addresses critical needs facing the state's 41,400-mile highway system.

This piece of legislation includes such initiatives as increased funding for roads and bridges, reforming the state's income tax structure and restructuring the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Gov. Nikki Haley discussed these issues in her January State of the State address. The S.C. Senate is also currently considering a bill to address infrastructure needs.

"We commend the South Carolina House of Representatives on taking a big step forward in addressing the needs of our failing infrastructure. We are encouraged that both the House and the governor are speaking the same language when it comes to much-needed improvements to our state's highway system," said Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "While there are some differences in how these plans to aid our roads and bridges would ultimately be carried out, we are confident a compromise can be reached by our entire legislative body once the Senate passes their own version of this bill. A renewed commitment to investing in our roads and bridges throughout South Carolina will lead to more jobs, more tourists and safer traveling conditions for all who live or visit here."

The DOT has previously said it needs an additional $1.5 billion yearly for the next two decades in order to bring roads to good condition. South Carolina's 41,500-mile system is the nation's fourth largest and consists of many short, limited traffic roads.