HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The results of two new surveys show residents in Horry County strongly support the I-73 project.
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said it considers I-73 its number one legislative priority overall.
“We are pleased by the results of two recent surveys that confirm a great depth of support among businesses and residents of Horry County,” said Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the MBACC. “We believe that a successful funding path for I-73 can be found if everyone remains committed and engaged in the interest of supporting the effort.”
A survey of MBACC business members from Little River to Pawleys Island show 88.7% are in favor of I-73. An overwhelming 91% of the members also believe that I-73 would help shorten evacuation times in the event of a natural disaster or hurricane.
Kevin Andrews, the owner of Good Day Café in Myrtle Beach, said he’s fully behind I-73, and believes it would be good for not only his business but the county’s economy.
“It’ll bring more traffic, more tourists, more access to the beach," said Andrews.
The second countywide survey, which was done by the Trafalgar Group, showed overall support of 74.6%. The survey also found that 72.4% of those questioned believe that I-73 will help increase economic development in Horry County.
The results were from 1,774 respondents in unincorporated Horry County, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach and Conway. Riordan said even though it’s a small sample of the county’s 300,000-plus population, she believes it’s an accurate representation.
“When we saw that the plus or minus variance was 2%, that gives us more confidence that the accuracy of the poll is representative of how people are thinking," said Riordan.
The overwhelming support the surveys indicate is something the chamber believes is crucial in pushing I-73 forward.
“The support of 74.6 percent of all the voters surveyed and 88.71 percent of the chamber business membership confirms what so many in our community have shared with me since I joined the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber: We need Interstate 73,” Riordan said. “The chamber remains committed to working with our investor-members, elected officials and local residents to support this effort.”
The survey was done with private funding and no taxpayer dollars were used for the survey.