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 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. Why would South Carolina invest billions of dollars on a new interstate that is not listed on SC Department of Transportation’s list of priorities? We all know there are better ways to spend billions of dollars in our state, and fortunately, no one has found a willing funder to date.
The Conservation League continues to support local communities and advocate for less expensive and less ecologically harmful transportation alternatives.