Myrtle Beach City Council voted unanimously to fund I-73 for $4.2 million for 30 years, with conditions that Horry County residents and other municipalities also participate.
“I-73 is a major economic development project for Horry County and for municipalities within Horry County,” the agenda item reads. “I-73 has been an initiative of the community for approximately 20 years. With the federal stimulus monies associated with the COVID-19 relief packages, and the federal government’s Infrastructure Bill, now is the right time to address this project.”
The measure pays 5.25% of the entire cost of the Horry County section of I-73. The other 95% must now be paid by Horry County residents, as well as, state government, and other local municipalities. Federal funding is also being sought.
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is a huge lobbyist for the connector road and applauded the city’s decision.
THE BIG COUNTY/STATE SQUEEZE FROM MBACC
Said Jimmy Gray, director of government affairs for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce: “This sends a strong message to leaders in Conway, in Columbia, and in Washington D.C. that there is strong local buy in… from Myrtle Beach city council for the Interstate 73 project. Not just from those councils, but from the residents and folks that live in this area and really have been wanting an interstate for so long.“
State Representative Case Brittain released a statement agreeing with Gray and applauding the Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach city councils.
On behalf of the National I-73/I-74/I-75 Corridor Association, I commend Myrtle Beach Mayor Bethune and North Myrtle Beach Mayor Hatley as well as their respective councilmembers for leading the way on the efforts to make this interstate a reality.
They understand the importance of I-73 and the impact it will have on our livelihoods, not only as a conduit for economic growth and reducing congestion on our local roads, but most importantly, as a critical element in our public safety. In the event of a hurricane, I-73 will provide a safer, faster evacuation route for our growing region. And should we be struck by a major storm, having an interstate will allow lifesaving goods and services to access us in a timelier manner.
While we have more work to do to get I-73 built, we are forging ahead, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Columbia to take this up at the state level.
The state legislature has not committed any funding for I-73 to date.