Local Viewpoint - Interstate 73

By Ted Fortenberry - bio | email

Interstate 73 has been making the news the past few weeks as local leaders petition the state to include the important traffic artery on the list of proposed projects to receive funding from a soon-to-be-passed economic stimulus package.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is supposedly in favor of the project; Buck Limehouse, secretary of transportation, supports the road; the DOT has it on their list of high priority projects; but the highway is not included in the list of projects to receive funding.

In our local view, something isn't adding up here. Is there a hidden political agenda at work? Let's hope not, but it sure smells funny.

There have been suggestions that it would be wise to begin work on the project by constructing an interchange where I-73 connects with I-95, but Secretary Limehouse does not support that plan and calls it an "interchange to nowhere."

Well, Secretary Limeshouse, that's bunk. Across the country there are many, many highways projects that begin with interchange construction first and then work outward on the highway portion. I-69 just south of Memphis where it connects with I-55 is a perfect example of one roadway that was constructed in that exact manner.

Danny Isaac, our local DOT commissioner, and the legislative leaders from our area needs to make sure I-73 continues to be a top priority and included in the projects proposed to receive funding as soon as possible. There is no other highway project more critical to our region and in our opinion beneficial for the entire state.

I-73 deserves to be at the top of the list.

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