Representatives from South Carolina will be among officials from six states attending a meeting and rally in the nation’s capitol this Thursday through Saturday to lobby for the Interstate 73 project. The new interstate would connect Myrtle Beach with Michigan, through North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio.
Horry County Representative Alan Clemmons chairs the National I-73/74 Corridor Association. Clemmons says this will be that organization’s first meeting in two years, and will be an important push for more highway funding. He says members of Congress will see that South Carolina is dedicated to the project. Clemmons says the overall project may cost up to $3 billion.
The last Highway Reauthorization Bill that passed Congress contained more than $100 million for the project and $81 million of that went to South Carolina. Clemmons says the state still has most of that, which it plans to use for construction of the I-73 and I-95 crossing near Bennettsville.
Officials hope this Reauthorization Bill will provide even more support–up to $200 million.
Clemmons says the timing couldn’t be better to get the project underway, because highway construction costs are really low now.
Clemmons says the interstate will not only be a big job generator but will be an advantage in several ways.
It’s going to create greater return on our investments for tourism infrastructure in South Carolina, not to mention the safety aspects, being able to get our residents and tourists away from the beaches easily when hurricanes hit.