North Coast


I-73 in South Carolina

News update!

On April 16, 2024, the Little Pee Dee River was announced as one of Americas Most Endangered Rivers® for 2024, a list of rivers at a crossroads, where key decisions in the coming months will determine the rivers’ fates. Looming highway development and poor resource management has put this river at risk, threatening critical habitat for endangered fish and wildlife, as well as impacting public safety for adjacent communities. We hope this unfortunate yet warranted designation brings attention to the river and the threat of I-73.

Ways you can help:

  • Sign up to receive updates on I-73 and other projects in the North Coast!
  • If you live in Horry County, write your county council member to tell them to keep I-73 off the transportation sales tax project list.
  • Write a letter to the editor to express your concerns.



I-73, the proposed $2.4 billion (at least) interstate to link the Myrtle Beach area with I-95 and beyond, 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 more than 350 acres of wetlands and 22 miles of streams.  Local communities struggling to stay economically viable will be devastated.  There is no need for a new interstate. 

The Conservation League released an independent study analyzing an alternative to I-73: improving SC 38/ US 501 to expressway standards and calling it the Grand Strand Expressway (GSX). The study found that improving existing roads would deliver similar economic and transportation benefits at a fraction of the cost of building I-73. 

The political will to get this interstate built is strong, but the logic is weak. We all know there are better ways to spend billions of dollars in our state, and fortunately, no one has yet found a willing funder. As of January 2024, Horry County Council is considering a 25-year transportation sales tax with a project list including $450 million for a portion of I-73 from SC Highway 22 to the Marion County line. The sales tax commission will be finalizing the projects in the Spring and Horry County Council will vote on the ordinance in May 2024. Horry County voters will have their say on sales tax referendum on the November 5, 2024 ballot. 

The Conservation League continues to support local communities and advocate for less expensive and less ecologically harmful transportation alternatives. 

Becky Ryon · [email protected] · 843.349.4089

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