I-73/I-95 interchange access road in South Carolina receives grant

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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the signing of a $10 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant that will allow construction to begin on a highway project that will expand access to the planned Interstate 73 route as well as I-95 in Dillon County, South Carolina. DOT and the South Carolina Department of Transportation have signed an agreement for the grant that will pay for the construction of a section of road that eventually will link to the I-73/I-95 interchange, providing access to the two interstates.

I-73 currently is under development as new interstate extending from Myrtle Beach to the North Carolina border. “Thanks to the Recovery Act, we have been able to create jobs while helping states build critical links and upgrade their transportation infrastructure,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says. “Projects like this one in South Carolina also provide a boost to the region’s economy.”

This project involves the widening of about one mile of U.S. Route 301 and 1.25 miles of U.S. Route 501, near the town of Latta, from two to three lanes and the realignment of the existing U.S. 501/US 301 intersection. The enhancements will allow the two routes to tie into I-73, when construction on the interstate begins, and let drivers in the region to connect more easily to I-95. “The project brings us one step closer to reducing travel time for commuters in the area as well as vacationers driving to Myrtle Beach, which will help support the region’s tourism industry,” Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez says.

The new I-73 highway will run through Marlboro, Dillon, Marion and Horry counties and intersect with I-95, the East Coast’s major north-south corridor. I-73 is expected to improve the economic competitiveness of the Myrtle Beach region and South Carolina by substantially improving access to a major city and tourist destination currently not connected to the interstate system.

The $10 million was awarded under the Recovery Act’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program. TIGER funding is designed to promote innovative, multimodal and multijurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation. DOT announced the selection of $1.5 billion worth of TIGER grants for 51 projects as part of the one-year anniversary of ARRA on Feb. 17.