Skip to main content

Federal Transportation Head: We need to build I-73

On Friday, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters stopped in Myrtle Beach to listen and offer support to the recently restored organization. She left stressing the need for the new Interstate to be built.

After taking time to see some of the highways that a completed I-73 is to relieve, Peters said, "It is time to build I-73."

These words were music to the ears of the 200 or so individuals who came to Myrtle Beach for the organization's first meeting in over a decade. Peters was invited to the meeting by U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C), a strong advocate of the highway.

Peters also informed the group that her agency is committed to pushing forward large regional projects that have a greater impact on larger parts of the nation vs. localized projects that only benefit a few.

The hope of the I-73 Corridor Association is that Peters' visit will show the importance of highway from economic growth to coastal evacuation. This was also the first time delegates from Ohio and Michigan were in attendance. Both states shelved the I-73 project in the 1990s.

Graham believes that a strong six state coalition will make the case for getting funding and building I-73 stronger. Those at the meeting from Ohio and Michigan were surprised at the amount of construction and planning already taken place in South Carolina, North Carolina, and most recently Virginia. The Michigan and Ohio members also pledged to push their respective DOT's to resume planning for the Interstate.

The next plan for the association is to hold a meeting in Washington, D.C. Their goal is to gain more support for the highway from additional influential legislators.

Story:
I-73 wins crucial backer ---Myrtle Beach Sun News

Link:
The revamped I-73/74 Corridor Association Website

Commentary:
So a lot of hoopla for I-73 and I-74. Will Sec. Peters support for the highway help towards the eventual completion? Will there be renewed interest from Ohio and/or Michigan? Wait a few years when the next transportation funding bill is created in 2009. That will be when all the "support" from Federal officials and Senators/Congressmen will either come through or be nothing but lip service.

Senator Graham says that a strong six state lobbying effort will help build the highway. No, a strong six state effort showing their ability to fund and build the highway will help get these funds.

South Carolina has approved the possibility of tolling I-73 to raise the funds for the highway. Plus you have the current SC budget battle that has an annual $5 million of state funding for I-73 hanging in the balance. In the House, Tracy Edge of North Myrtle Beach has increased the yearly allotment from $1 to $6 million per year. However, that extra $5 million has been removed in the Senate's version. As of typing this entry, there has been no resolution on the budget and the I-73 funding within South Carolina.

Plus, you have the still unresolved wetland issue at the Pee Dee Heritage Preserve.

North Carolina is building I-73 and I-74 in various stages. By 2010, about 30 more miles of I-73 and/or I-74 will be opened with the possibility of more being 'converted' from Future Interstate to Interstate. In the article, it states that two miles of I-73 and 19 miles of I-74 are opened. These figures baffle me. Only because of the I-73/74 multiplex in the heart of the state. I'd like to know what the two miles of I-73 are. It is not signed alone anywhere. The only guess I have is the approximate two miles of the Greensboro Outer Loop that is opened that would contain I-73. If that is the case, more of I-73 should open later this year when the Southwest quadrant of the GSO Loop opens to traffic.

North Carolina's biggest problem has been internal funding issues. Many of the I-73/74 projects within the state have been pushed back because the money isn't there.

Virginia just got clearance to build I-73 from Roanoke (I-81) to the NC State Line, but needs to find funding.

West Virginia has parts of the highway built. But many are being built not to full freeway and Interstate Standards.

Ohio and Michigan..........................they have to get the dust of the books first. And who knows when they'll decide just to pay for the dusting service.

The recent meeting was a lot of talk and optimism. And if you haven't had a meeting in over a decade, just having one is a good step. But there is still a long way to go, a lot of obstacles to overcome before substantial progress and funding comes for both Interstates. The 2009 Highway Funding Bill will show just how far I-73/74 has come....or most likely how much further it needs to go.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Route 75 Tunnel - Ironton, Ohio

In the Ohio River community of Ironton, Ohio, there is a former road tunnel that has a haunted legend to it. This tunnel was formerly numbered OH 75 (hence the name Route 75 Tunnel), which was renumbered as OH 93 due to I-75 being built in the state. Built in 1866, it is 165 feet long and once served as the northern entrance into Ironton, originally for horses and buggies and later for cars. As the tunnel predated the motor vehicle era, it was too narrow for cars to be traveling in both directions. But once US 52 was built in the area, OH 93 was realigned to go around the tunnel instead of through the tunnel, so the tunnel was closed to traffic in 1960. The legend of the haunted tunnel states that since there were so many accidents that took place inside the tunnel's narrow walls, the tunnel was cursed. The haunted legend states that there was an accident between a tanker truck and a school bus coming home after a high school football game on a cold, foggy Halloween night in 1

Niagara Falls

  Arguably the world's most famous waterfall, or rather a set of waterfalls, Niagara Falls may not need much of an introduction, as it is a very popular tourist attraction in both New York State and the Province of Ontario, a destination of plenty of honeymooning couples, vacationing families and college students out for a good time for a weekend. Niagara Falls is also the site of many daredevil activities over the years, such as tightrope walking and going over the falls in a barrel. It is always nice to have a bit of a refresher, of course. Niagara Falls is made up of two main waterfalls, American Falls (also known as Rainbow Falls), which is on the American side of the border and Horseshoe Falls (also known as Canadian Falls), where the border between the United States and Canada crosses. There is also a smaller waterfall on the New York side of the border, which is Bridal Veil Falls. The height of the waterfalls are impressive, with Horseshoe Falls measuring at

Former California State Route 190 at the bottom of Lake Success

East of the City of Porterville the alignment of California State Route 190 follows the Tule River watershed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  In modern times California State Route 190 east of Porterville climbs south of the Lake Success Reservoir towards Springville.  Much of the original alignment of California State Route 190 within the Lake Success Reservoir can still be hiked, especially in drier years.  Pictured above is the original alignment of California State Route 190 facing northward along the western shore of Lake Success.  Part 1; the history of California State Route 190 through Lake Success The corridor of California State Route 190 ("CA 190") east of Porterville to Springville follows the watershed of the Tule River.  The Tule River watershed between Porterville and Springville would emerge as a source of magnesite ore near the turn of the 20th Century.  The magnesite ore boom would lead to the development of a modern highway in the Porterville-Springville