Town has mixed thoughts on Interstate 73

Latta, SC - By Kyle Grainger - bio | email

LATTA, SC (WMBF) - There are mixed thoughts about whether or not Interstate 73 will help parts of the Pee Dee, as some business owners say the road is just something else for the beach.

At the D&G Convenience Store and Grill in Latta, owner Jane Pate says the South Carolina Department of Transportation has told her sometime around January or February she'll have to have move to make way for an expanded four lanes of Highway 501 headed towards Interstate 73.

"To think about you being in one place for 22 years and all of a sudden things are just snatched right out from under you," Pate said.  "Yeah I am worried a little.  I don't think I'll find another place as good as this. Maybe I hope."

Zane Bryant agrees with Pate and doesn't believe people headed into Myrtle Beach will be inclined to stop in Latta, as much as some others hope they do.

"They don't stop, the ones just come in to use the bathroom, use our restroom facilities those kinds of things don't come in and spend money," Bryant said.

But still members of the North Eastern Strategic Alliance say Interstate 73 will help attract new industry to the area and create new jobs.

South Carolina DOT Highway Commission Chairman Danny Isaac says he intends to see that the $10 million in federal grant money is spent to start the project soon.

"I want to use that money to build the Southern leg of an interchange at Interstate 95," Isaac said.  "That's what the money was applied for."

Isaac says right now the Department of Transportation has $75 million committed to the interchange at 95 and needs $75 million more to get it built.

Right now Isaac says they've not come up with a way to pay for the $75 million needed.

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