North Myrtle Beach leaders vote to put $1.7M annually toward I-73

Unanimous vote with slight change to resolution
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 11:34 AM EST
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – North Myrtle Beach became the first government in our area to commit money to bring I-73 to the Grand Strand.

The North Myrtle Beach City Council voted unanimously Monday night on a resolution to contribute $1.7 million annually to help fund I-73, with a slight change to the previously proposed resolution.

Monday night, North Myrtle beach leaders agreed to remove one qualification, allowing the resolution to move forward; the resolution requiring other counties, cities and towns in South Carolina that would benefit from I-73 to participate in funding the project.

Back in October, Gov. Henry McMaster announced that he would ask state lawmakers to set aside $300 million to help fund the completion of I-73 that would run from I-95 to the Grand Strand. The entire project is expected to cost $1.6 billion in total. McMaster said that the state will come up with half of the $1.6 billion, while the federal and local governments are responsible for the other half. It would mean that local governments in Horry, Dillon and Marion counties would have to help with funding.

RELATED COVERAGE | McMaster recommends $300 million to help fund completion of I-73 project to Myrtle Beach

“The resolution proposes funding of $1.7 million annually for a currently undetermined number of years that must be used solely for the actual construction of I-73 within Horry County,” the city council agenda states.

The proposed resolution in North Myrtle Beach maintains other qualifications must be met before the city’s contribution can take place.

Those qualifications include:

  • Any funds contributed by the city cannot be used for rights-of-way, construction documents, engineering and legal services, environmental studies and/or reports of any kind. The money must be used solely for the construction of I-73.
  • The funds should not be used for Highway 22 or any other roadways.
  • Construction must begin on or before Dec. 31, 2024.

North Myrtle Beach will use hospitality tax revenue to contribute to the I-73 project.

Back in October, a proposed resolution was put before the Horry County Council that called for committing $4.2 million in hospitality fees for the next 30 years toward the interstate project.

RELATED COVERAGE | Horry County Council rejects plan to help fund I-73, passes Highway 90 funding

Horry County Council voted against the resolution. Some on council argued that the focus needs to be on local roads. They also wanted to wait and see if the federal government and other local municipalities will dedicate money to the completion of the interstate.

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