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SC: Heritage Trust Board won't fight I-73 but expects compensation

In South Carolina, concerns on Interstate 73's effects to a wildlife preserve may add some small hurdles in the proposed highways path to completion.

The issue: I-73's impact on the Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve along the Horry/Marion County Line. I-73's right of way will take over 27 acres of land and nearly another six acres where the highway will cross the river.

The SC Department of Natural Resources is in support of I-73 but has withheld support of the preferred alternative because of their concerns over the Preserve. The DNR prefers a route that would have I-73 built over top of SC 9 or US 501. However, the DOT's study for I-73 shows that more wetlands and environmental areas would be impacted over the SC 9 or US 501 route. The DNR has agreed that the DOT's findings are correct.

Indications are that the DNR will sign off on the preferred alternative but expects to receive the maximum amount of compensation as possible. By compensation, that may include various land management provisions including reconstructing or extending protection to bear habitats and high ground management.

The Advisory Board is now in the process of determining the compensation figures. The plan is to have the final tally ready for vote in February. However, members of the board stress that the study and vote may not be completed by then and the DOT may have to wait on their decision.

The impact is that if a decision is not made in February, it may delay the state's current plan to have all permit applications completed by late Spring 2007.

See: Panel to put price on I-73 Impact ---Myrtle Beach Sun News

Commentary:

This appears to be nothing more than a formal process of compensation to the DNR from the DOT as a result of the impacts to the Preserve. With the Heritage Trust Advisory Board agreeing that the state did take the path of least impact to various enviornmental features, this should be nothing but a mere formality. However, the possibility of delaying the completion the permit application process is there. If that does happen, it should be a small bump in the road.

Comments

waterfaerie84 said…
Interesting blog... especially when most are so empty and narcissistic.

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