I-73 project overcomes large, legal hurdle after judge dismisses environmental group’s lawsuit

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 4:52 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A judge handed the Myrtle Beach and Horry County a “colossal win” in its efforts to get I-73 to the Grand Strand.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Bruce Hendricks dismissed a lawsuit brought on by the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.

The organization had filed a lawsuit claiming that the project would cost up to $3.8 billion dollars to bring the interstate to Myrtle Beach. It also alleged that the project would “unnecessarily destroy hundreds of acres of freshwater wetlands, despite the existence of viable, cheaper and environmentally-preferable alternatives to the new roadway.”

Local, state and federal leaders praised the judge’s decision and called it a win for the entire Palmetto State.

“Today, we’ve overcome a large hurdle to the construction of I-73 that has put the project on unnecessary hold for years. I’m extremely pleased to hear today’s court decision allows the construction permit for I-73 to stand,” U.S. Rep. Tom Rice said. “I will continue to do all I can at the federal level to make sure this project comes to fruition.”

“Today’s order is a colossal win for Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the entire state of South Carolina. I-73 is a public safety and economic development necessity for South Carolina,” said Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Riordan.

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