Army Corps of Engineers issues permit to begin construction on I-73

WASHINGTON (WBTW) –  Congressman Tom Rice announced Tuesday that the Army Corps of Engineers issued the permit to begin construction of Interstate 73.

The entire interstate would run from Michigan to the Grand Strand.

“Since I got to Congress, construction of I-73 has been my top priority and this permit is a result of a lot of hard work and collaboration,” said Congressman Rice in a press release. “The opportunity that I-73 will bring to the 7th District is truly unparalleled and now that we have the permit in hand we can begin construction and see this project come to light. We still have a ways to go but we’re closer than ever and I won’t stop until this project is complete and people are driving on this road.”

Congressman Rice has worked closely with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers on the mitigation plan for the I-73 permit application that was submitted in May 2016.

According to the release, studies say that I-73 could generate approximately 22,000 permanent and 7,700 temporary jobs in South Carolina.

Now that the permit has been issued for this project, plans will have to be finalized with a tolling company before they can officially start.

In response to permit issued, Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement:

“The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is thrilled that the federal government has finally issued a permit for the construction of Interstate 73. Many people have championed this effort for more than two decades. We are thankful for unwavering support from Congressman Rice, our Congressional delegation, our State Legislative delegation and the South Carolina Department of Transportation.Now that the federal government has issued the permit, we can begin to gather the funds to complete this important project. I-73 will bring more jobs, higher wages, economic growth and an alternate hurricane evacuation route.”

Rep. Alan Clemmons, Chairman of the National I-73/74/75 Association, issued the following statement:

“The National I-73/74/75 Association is pleased to announce that the federal government has finally issued a permit for the construction of Interstate 73. This has been the culmination of more than two decades of unwavering support from many people. WE extend our thanks to Congressman Rice, our Congressional delegation and the state legislative delegations, as well as the South Carolina Department of Transportation. With the issuing of this permit, we can now shift our focus to gathering the funds to complete this project. The completion of Interstate 73 will be an economic driver by creating more jobs with higher wages, as well as provide an alternative hurricane evacuation route.”