Why Interstate 73 and not I-20 to Myrtle Beach?

By Kyle Grainger - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - WMBF News has received a number of emails from viewers wondering why area and state leaders would want to build a new interstate instead of extending Interstate 20 from Florence.

What was discovered, however, is that it would take an act of the U.S. Congress for the extension to happen. I-20 was built in the 1970s, as Congress deemed the road would stop in Florence at I-95.

"It makes sense on a map, unfortunately that decision was made many years ago not too, and it literally would take an act of congress to change it," said Brad Dean, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dean says it could take as long as a decade to get I-20 to even to be considered extended to Myrtle Beach.  He says our best, if not only hope for an interstate is I-73.

According to historians at the Florence County Library, when the Federal Highway Act was passed in 1934, Myrtle Beach had yet to mature as a place of record.  The only mention of I-20 being extended to Myrtle Beach was at a meeting of the Highway Commission in the 1940s.

However, nothing came to fruition of that.  A survey that was expected to be performed in 1957 to take I-20 to the Great Pee Dee River fell through, as well.

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