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Moving the American Economy - U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 8, 2008
Contact: Ian Grossman
(202) 366-0660
DOT 18-08

U.S. Department of Transportation Gives South Carolina the Go-Ahead to Start Building I-73

WASHINGTON - South Carolina can move forward with plans to build I-73 now that the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved environmental documents for the project, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced today.

With all federal clearances in place, South Carolina can take the next step to explore financing options to start constructing this new section of interstate.

"Today this state joins the growing list of places that are embracing new and innovative approaches to finance transportation projects," Peters said.

Peters said I-73 in South Carolina was the first project to have a slot reserved under the Department's new Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program, which gives the state authority for tolling and allows other states to expand 1-73.

Deputy Secretary of Transportation Thomas Barrett announced the news when he signed the Record of Decision for the project during a visit to Myrtle Beach to see first hand the congestion chokepoints that the new I-73 would ease.

"The I-73 Corridor will be a critical link tying the Grand Strand to states to the North," Barrett said. "It will expand the region's economy, increase tourism and enable faster trips to the region."

"Once completed, the new interstate will allow drivers to connect more easily to I-95," Barrett added.

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