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Conversations continue over funding for I-73 project

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 6:48 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Conversations at the Chamber of Commerce are ongoing about I-73 updates. Funding for this project can help economic growth and increase safety within our community.

Tuesday at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, chamber leaders and representative Case Brittain shared how I-73 isn’t only geared towards economic growth; it’s also about providing safer evacuation routes in the future.

“Make sure that we have an evacuation route that’s safe to our residents and anyone that’s visiting as well, and I-73 will provide that for us,” said Brittain.

Brittain says this project needs more local funding before things can begin moving forward, but that path may not be easy.

Last month Horry County Council Leaders voted against a resolution to commit hospitality fee money to the project.

Some council members say they wanted to see if the Federal Government or other cities and counties would dedicate money to complete I-73.

Dillon County also shared concerns about the effect I-73 would have on its economy.

Karen Riordan of the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce says they’ve already reached out to Marion and Dillon counties. She says they’ve talked with leaders and staff about understanding their needs, interests and concerns about what I-73 will bring for their communities.

Both Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach city leaders say they haven’t determined an exact amount each city could contribute.

Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea says the city supports and is willing to commit money to I-73.

North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling says the City Council has been supportive of using some of the hospitality fee money.

Director of Government Affairs for the Chamber, Jimmy Gray says that this is more than a state project versus a local project.

“There are some folks that are pitting Interstate 73 against other projects, and we do not view this as either or this is an ‘and’ and we need all this with the growth that Horry county has seen in the past several years,” said Gray.

After 30 years of looking at this project, Chamber Leaders say the time to do this is now. They hope I-73 will bring more people to the area.

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