I-73 in South Carolina
I-73, the proposed $2.4 billion interstate proposed to link the Myrtle Beach area with I-95 and beyond to North Carolina, has been and continues to be driven by special interests without regard to need, to cost, or its impact on the environment and community. The proposed interstate will impact or destroy over 350 acres of wetlands and 22 miles of streams. Local communities that now struggle to stay economically viable will be devastated. There is no need for a new interstate.
Two years ago, the Conservation League released an independent study analyzing an alternative to I-73: improve SC 38/ US 501 to expressway standards and call it the Grand Strand Expressway (GSX). The study found that improving the existing roads would deliver similar economic and transportation benefits at a fraction of the cost of building I-73.
Today I-73 still lacks funding. The political will to get this interstate built is strong, but the logic is weak. Why would South Carolina invest billions of dollars on a new interstate that is not listed on SCDOT’s list of priorities? We all know there are better ways to spend that money.
The Conservation League continues to support local communities and advocate for less expensive and less ecologically harmful transportation alternatives.