Want Hwy 22 to Connect to I-95?
Elissa Jarvis, Lead Reporter Sunday, December 18, 2011
Want a quick way to get from Myrtle Beach to I-95? How about a straight shot from Myrtle Beach to Ohio or Michigan? If a grassroots movement in Horry County has their way, it will be here sooner rather than later.
I-73 for S.C. is a local movement comprised of activists, pastors and several Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce members that want I-73 built in South Carolina ASAP. I-73 is a planned Interstate corridor running from Myrtle Beach all the way to Grayling, Michigan. In Myrtle Beach, I-73 would include what is currently S.C. Hwy 22. The road would extend from Hwy 22 heading north-west and would cross over I-95 outside of Dillon.
The proposed interstate would cut down on the already congested road systems getting to Myrtle Beach. Anyone who has driven on Hwy 501 or Hwy 17 on Memorial Day weekend knows the traffic is bumper to bumper and frustratingly slow. I-73 would also be an asset for safety during hurricane evacuations. Furthermore, studies have suggested that the new interstate could create 22,000 new jobs in South Carolina.
The plans for the I-73 corridor have been in motion since 2006. President Obama even authorized a grant to fund building I-73, but making progress on the new interstate has been slow going. Brad Dean, President of the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, told people at a committee meeting about the interstate that the state government is blocking the funding. Several environmental committees are against I-73 as well, arguing that it’s unnecessary and construction would destroy over 300 acres of wetlands and thousands of acres of farmland.
So what do you think about I-73: good idea or unnecessary?