Skip to main content

I-73 Tolls Stall...but the project keeps rolling along.

From Today's Sun News:

A bill that would make Interstate 73 a toll road stalled indefinitely Thursday after two senators put a block on the measure.

Supporters of the road hoped to get the bill out quickly to show Congress that South Carolina is ready to pay its share to build Horry County's first interstate highway link. Congress kicked in $81 million for I-73 in last year's five-year highway bill, and members have promised more each year, but they want to see a toll put on the road because they can't promise the entire $2 billion price tag.

The House passed the bill in three days, but the same measure in the Senate came to a halt last week when two senators tried to amend it to include a toll on I-95.

One senator who wants the toll on I-95 put a block on the bill until his amendment is accepted, and a senator who opposes a toll on I-95 also blocked the bill.

Senate rules allow a member to block consideration of a bill indefinitely, unless a two-thirds majority forces the measure to a vote.

Sen. Larry Grooms, R-
Bonneau, said he put his block on the bill to prevent the I-95 toll amendment and he hopes the dispute can be worked out soon.

"I am a friend of the bill. I want the I-73 thing to pass," Grooms said.

He said he wants the bill held up until supporters can muster enough votes to overcome the I-95 amendment.

Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, and Sen. John Matthews, D-Bowman, proposed the amendment to the I-73 toll bill that would put a toll booth on I-95 near Orangeburg, with the money to be used to maintain and improve the highway.

Hutto put a block on the bill when objections were raised to his amendment.

Grooms said a toll on I-95 might be needed but the I-73 bill isn't the place to accomplish that. "That's a separate issue, and it should be a separate bill," Grooms said.

"My hope is that we get that taken care of," said Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. "It's a great project, and we need to get this bill out of here."

I'm not surprised that this happened once the two senators from Orangeburg threw in admendments for tolling I-95. Senator Grooms blocked the bill only because of the I-95 toll proposal and the other two blocked it because they were not going to get their wish for a toll booth on I-95.

This is just normal politics whether at the federal or local level. The I-95 measure should be on a seperate bill espescially since it is an existing Interstate highway and would need Federal approval first. If the two Orangeburg Senators believe that this bill would create tolls on I-95, they are largely mistaken.

It will take awhile for the issue to sort itself out. But this will not be the last we hear of a toll proposal for I-73. This will be an issue during each new legislative session. Stay tuned, this week's defeat for tolling I-73 is only a slight diversion towards its eventual completion. The bill does not stop any current studies on the eventual path of the highway or the plans for the $85 million in funding for the highway gained last year.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hidden California State Route 710 and the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway

Infamous and the subject of much controversy the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway has long existed as a contentious topic regarding the completion of Interstate 710 and California State Route 710.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway effectively has been legislatively blocked the action only came after decades of controversy.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway is fairly well known what many don't know is that a small segment was actually constructed south Interstate 210 and the Foothill Freeway.  This disconnected segment of the Long Beach Freeway exists as the unsigned and largely hidden California State Route 710.  On June 29, 2022 the California Transportation Commission relinquished California State Route 710 to the city of Pasadena.  The blog cover above depicts a southward view on the completed Pasadena stub segment of the Long Beach Freeway which ends at California Boulevard.   Part 1; the history of the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freewa

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Paper Highways: Proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada

During February 1956 the State of Nevada in concurrence with the States of California and Arizona submitted a request to the American Association of State Highway Officials to establish US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas.  The proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have originated from mainline US Route 66 in Kingman Arizona and followed a multiplex of US Routes 93-466 to Las Vegas, Nevada.  From Las Vegas, Nevada the proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have multiplexed US Routes 91-466 back to mainline US Route 66 in Barstow, California.  The request to establish US Route 66 Alternate was denied during June 1956 due to it being completely multiplexed with other US Routes.  This blog will examine the timeline of the US Route 66 Alternate proposal to Las Vegas, Nevada. The history of the proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada On February 15, 1956, the Nevada State Highway Engineer in a letter to the American Association of State Highways Officials (AASHO) advising that six c