Myrtle Beach City Council unanimously passes resolution to commit millions to I-73

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 2:01 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 5:04 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach City Council has taken an important step in support of bringing I-73 to the Grand Strand.

The city council unanimously passed a resolution that commits $4.2 million annually for 30 years to 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.


Just last week, the city of North Myrtle Beach passed a resolution committing $1.7 million annually for the interstate.

But the city of Myrtle Beach’s funding commitment comes with some conditions, which include:

  • Adequate funding from the state and the U.S. Department of Transportation for the construction of I-73
  • Any funds contributed from the city should only be used for the actual construction of the interstate.
  • Construction must begin by Dec. 31, 2024

During the meeting, one resident spoke out against I-73, stating that she wants taxpayer money spent elsewhere, including local roadways and needs in the business community.

But despite some pushback from some in the community, Myrtle Beach City Council voted to fund I-73.

Jimmy Gray, the director of Government Affairs for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said the commitment by both Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach to help fund I-73 shows other jurisdictions that they’re serious about this project.

“This sends a strong message to leaders in Conway, Columbia and leaders in DC that there’s a strong local buy-in from North Myrtle Beach City Council and now Myrtle Beach City Council for the I-73 project. It means so much to show those leaders that North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach mean business about I-73,” Gray said.

After the vote, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce applauded city leaders on their vote.

“We thank Mayor Bethune and members of the council for their support as I-73 will strengthen and diversify our economy, create jobs, provide a vital hurricane evacuation route, and reduce traffic congestion. Furthermore, the interstate will not only benefit the Grand Strand, but the entire state,” said Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Karen Riordan.

S.C. Rep. Case Brittain, who serves the Myrtle Beach area and is also the chair for the National I-73/I-74/I-75 Corridor Association, released this statement:

“Today, the Myrtle Beach City Council unanimously passed a resolution to commit funding for Interstate 73 in South Carolina. This comes on the heels of a similar resolution from the North Myrtle Beach City Council last week.

On behalf of the National I-73/I-74/I-75 Corridor Association, I commend Myrtle Beach Mayor Bethune and North Myrtle Beach Mayor Hatley as well as their respective councilmembers for leading the way on the efforts to make this interstate a reality.

They understand the importance of I-73 and the impact it will have on our livelihoods, not only as a conduit for economic growth and reducing congestion on our local roads, but most importantly, as a critical element in our public safety. In the event of a hurricane, I-73 will provide a safer, faster evacuation route for our growing region. And should we be struck by a major storm, having an interstate will allow lifesaving goods and services to access us in a timelier manner.

While we have more work to do to get I-73 built, we are forging ahead, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Columbia to take this up at the state level.”

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