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South Carolina to Hold I-73 Funding Summit

As the path of Interstate 73 through South Carolina becomes more specific, the forum for discussion has now turned to, "How are we gonna pay for the darn thing?"

With nearly $85 million in federal funding already received for the route and with the real possibility the highway will be tolled, discussing how the Interstate will be paid for may seem far fetched. But it's not. Take a look at the numbers, I-73 is expected to cost upwards of $2 billion - with a b - to complete. The $85 million isn't even 5% of what the highway will eventually cost. Even with the traditional 80 (federal)/ 20 (state) split of funding, the toll may not be enough to cover the state's share of the bill.

So this coming Monday, November 20th, the South Carolina I-73 Association and United States Senator Lindsay Graham (R-Seneca) will hold a public meeting to discuss possible funding solutions to build I-73. The meeting will be held from 10 am to 2 pm at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Richland B and C rooms.

There's one caveat. A spokesman from Graham's office said that the meeting that will also include an announcement "which affirms South Carolina's leadership position in pushing the landmark project forward."

For more: The Myrtle Beach Sun News

Commentary:

With the possibility that I-73 is two or three years from seeing actual construction taking place, the discussion of funding and how the Interstate will be paid for is an important step. What comes out of this meeting - in addition to the 'special announcement' - may give us a general idea on where the funds to build the highway will come from and how it will be accomplished.

Comments

Froggie said…
The other thing to consider is that, unless it comes from the state's Federal highway funding allocation or a special Congressional allocation (i.e. line item or 'pork'), the Fed's 80% share of that $2+ billion may not materialize either...

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