South Carolina can move forward with plans to build Interstate 73 now that the Department of Transportation on Friday, Feb. 8, approved environmental documents for the project. With all federal clearances in place, South Carolina can take the next step to explore financing options to start constructing the new section of interstate, according to DOT.
“Today this state joins the growing list of places that are embracing new and innovative approaches to finance transportation projects,” Transportation Secretary Mary Peters says. I-73 in South Carolina was the first project to have a slot reserved under DOT’s new Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program, which gives the state authority for tolling and allows other states to expand the highway, Peters says.
Deputy Secretary of Transportation Thomas Barrett announced the news when he signed the Record of Decision for the project during a visit to Myrtle Beach to see firsthand the congestion chokepoints that the new I-73 would ease. “The I-73 Corridor will be a critical link tying the Grand Strand to states to the North,” Barrett says. “It will expand the region’s economy, increase tourism and enable faster trips to the region. Once completed, the new interstate will allow drivers to connect more easily to I-95.”