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MCNite

NC and SC Agree on New Interstates

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Both Carolinas have agreed to where to extend I-73 and I-74. Here are two articles.

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Carolinas reach interstate deal

After 14 years, leaders put connection plan in motion

By Zane Wilson

The Sun News

The Carolinas struck a deal Friday on the connection points of Interstates 73 and 74, meaning the staffs of the states' transportation agencies will start plans for the projects immediately.

"Today has been a tremendous success," said Betty Mabry, director of the S.C. Department of Transportation. "This is a wonderful day because this means both of us can go forward."

I-73, planned to run from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to Myrtle Beach, would be the first Horry County interstate highway link. The Myrtle Beach area is the largest tourism destination in the country without an interstate highway connection.

The agreement was announced in Myrtle Beach at a Carolinas summit aimed at reaching an accord on the connection that has eluded planners since 1991, when Congress designated I-73.

The agreement shifts the approximate route of I-73 slightly eastward from its original entry point into South Carolina near U.S. 1 in Wallace. Now it will enter South Carolina in the area of S.C. 38.

North Carolina will build a 3.7-mile link to the state line from the existing I-74 south of Rockingham, N.C.

In return, South Carolina will build about a 5-mile link from S.C. 31, the Carolina Bays Parkway, to the N.C. line to connect with the planned route of I-74.

The S.C. portion of I-73 is expected to cost $2 billion. So far, the only funding approved is $3 million for the environmental studies. DOT officials say that if they get the funds, the road can be finished in 2014.

The pact must be formalized by the transportation boards of both states, but leaders of those boards were at the summit and said they expect quick approval.

Most of the accord was worked out at an informal gathering Thursday night after a reception, when the top leadership of the two states' highway agencies began to talk, group members said.

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean was in the group as members began talking.

One of the North Carolinians said N.C. residents want an extension of Interstate 20 northeast toward Wilmington, N.C.

Dean said the South Carolinians said that project is not workable at this time, and the discussion moved quickly to how to connect I-73.

The North Carolinians said they wanted Carolina Bays Parkway extended north to connect with I-74, and the S.C. leaders said that was possible.

The deal was clinched during breakfast Friday morning by Mabry and S.C. DOT Commission Chairman Tee Hooper, joined by N.C. Secretary of Transportation Lyndo Tippett and N.C. Transportation Board Chairman Doug Galyon.

Tippett said the project benefits both states and the Carolinas were able to settle the issue "simply because there's been a heightened interest in it."

Officials from both states say the road will not only help bring more tourists, it also will fuel economic growth.

Galyon said he is pleased with the new connection point at S.C. 38 because "there are so many environmental problems" with the U.S. 1 route.

Mabry said the S.C. 38 area offers a straighter path and fewer hills. The I-74 leg it will connect with was not contemplated when the original U.S. 1 route was designated.

The agreement also will give Horry County two interstate highway connections.

The required environmental studies for I-73 are under way, but work on the section west of I-95 was on hold until there was an agreement on the connection point.

Mabry said she thinks the $3 million for I-73 route studies the agency has on hand will be enough to complete the additional portions, including the I-74 link.

What's next

Preliminary proposed corridors for the portion of Interstate 73 from Myrtle Beach to Interstate 95 will be presented to the public. Meetings will be March 8 at Dillon High School and March 10 at Myrtle Beach High School; tentative time for the meetings is 4-7 p.m.

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Carolinas agree on border entry for proposed I-73

The Associated Press

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- State transportation officials from North and South Carolina have agreed on where to build the last few miles of Interstate 73 in southern North Carolina.

The highway would run from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. to Myrtle Beach, making for easier travel to one of the biggest destinations of South Carolina's nearly $15 billion tourism industry.

And officials from both states say the road will not only help bring more tourists, it also will fuel economic growth.

The agreement announced by legislators at a summit Friday would have North Carolina build a 3.7-mile link from an existing portion of Interstate 74 south of Rockingham, N.C., to the state line near Wallace.

In return, South Carolina will build about a 5-mile highway from the existing Carolina Bays Parkway along the Grand Strand to link to the planned route of I-74 in North Carolina.

The agreements allow officials to collaborate on consultants to conduct environmental impact studies - the first step in building the interstates.

"Today has been a tremendous success," said Betty Mabry, director of the South Carolina Department of Transportation. "This is a wonderful day because this means both of us can go forward."

North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Lyndo Tippett said the project benefits both states and the Carolinas finally were able to settle the issue "simply because there's been a heightened interest in it."

The agreement will build I-73 about 10 miles east of the original plan, but officials said that will be better for environmental reasons.

"It's a shorter route and there are less wetlands issues with it," said Rep. Doug Jennings, D-Bennettsville.

Some worried the summit could stall after North Carolina transportation officials said they wanted Interstate 20 extended northward from Florence to Wilmington, N.C.

But South Carolina officials told them the project was not workable, turning the conversation to I-73, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean said.

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I have wondered why Myrtle Beach has had no interstate highway access. You'd think that there would be a interstate spur off of I-95 to Myrtle Beach at least before now.

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I'm dissatisfied with the project. I mean its great and all that we are degrading once beautiful Grand Strand beaches with Las Vegas style commercialism- or worse! An interstate should run east from Charlotte. I know US 74 will become Interstate-like down Independence Blvd. all the way to Monroe, but hundreds more people would use a CLT to Wilmington interstate. The state highway funds are broke and improvements are needed on 485 for expansion, and needed other Greensboro projects. This seems like the big boys in multi belted Raleigh are by-passing larger needs in the state to once again give pork barrel money to nearly uninhabited parts of Eastern NC.

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I'm dissatisfied with the project. I mean its great and all that we are degrading once beautiful Grand Strand beaches with Las Vegas style commercialism- or worse! An interstate should run east from Charlotte. I know US 74 will become Interstate-like down Independence Blvd. all the way to Monroe, but hundreds more people would use a CLT to Wilmington interstate. The state highway funds are broke and improvements are needed on 485 for expansion, and needed other Greensboro projects. This seems like the big boys in multi belted Raleigh are by-passing larger needs in the state to once again give pork barrel money to nearly uninhabited parts of Eastern NC.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You could also argue that interstate access to Wilmington and the eastern part of NC could help that section of the state economically. A healthy statewide economy benefits the entire state (obviously), not just one region within it. The interstate will also pass through the Pee Dee region of SC, which is the most economically depressed area in the state. It will definately be a boon to them. We have a thread about it in the SC section (Link: I-73's impact on Florence)

It would also provide a better evac routes for that area. Ever notice how Wilmington is always the bullseye for one or two hurricanes each year?

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@MCNite: Can you post a map of where these two interstates are going to be built? :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think they have an official route yet. Here is a website you can check out for more info on the SC portion of I-73: http://www.i-73sc.com/

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All I know is that I wish they would make 74 an interstate from Charlotte to the Coast and have a spur that would take it to fayetteville, NC. There just arent any east/west interstates after 40, we need one to run along the southern half of the state. or maybe upgrade 64 through asheboro to Raleigh as a interstate.

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Well... Howabout I-28

To get that interstate 30 in NC, would require TN to go along with it.

Why must NC wait for another state which just has to hang signs that they don't need?

To start at Little Rock...?

TN should route I-30 from Memphis to Chattanooga then to Asheville - yet that Chattanooga to Assheville is horrible terrain. That would take 40 years.

Skip I-30 idea.

Make it I-28. It doesn't exist anywhere else and so far has not been allocated for any state. It could run from Cherokee area to Asheville to Statesville, Gastonia, Charlotte ( outer beltway) Monroe, to Wilmington. It also would be in concert to the existing I-26 in the state.

If I-30 does go to NC, then we can use it to go through other cities to Fayetville and New Bern. Or not at all.

The train is a great idea - but it should be from cities that can support it.

Charlotte->Winston Salem-> Durham->Raleigh. Then expand when it catches on. Car rental shops at the terminals would help very much. Otherwise people wouldn't take it.

The reason for an interstate from Wilmington to Charlotte is economical. The shipping traffic is currently going through SC. That state is takign all the taxes and port money... NC could grab lots of that traffic and taxable income - which could be partly put towards the interstate.

Does anyone know of a more updated web site on the progress of this or any improvments to US 74?

Oh, sorry, but as for Shelby? I lived there growing up 1964-1975 - It sucked, I wouldn't build an interstate in the county. They were totally stupid for building McDonalds on a By pass. What idiots.

Now they want to build a bypass around the bypass.

Use 321 and do better entrance ramps and upgrades for 70- MPH traffic

It is April 2006 and the web sites I find are the same since 2003.... ouch.

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Well... Howabout I-28

To get that interstate 30 in NC, would require TN to go along with it.

Why must NC wait for another state which just has to hang signs that they don't need?

To start at Little Rock...?

TN should route I-30 from Memphis to Chattanooga then to Asheville - yet that Chattanooga to Assheville is horrible terrain. That would take 40 years.

Skip I-30 idea.

Make it I-28. It doesn't exist anywhere else and so far has not been allocated for any state. It could run from Cherokee area to Asheville to Statesville, Gastonia, Charlotte ( outer beltway) Monroe, to Wilmington. It also would be in concert to the existing I-26 in the state.

If I-30 does go to NC, then we can use it to go through other cities to Fayetville and New Bern. Or not at all.

The train is a great idea - but it should be from cities that can support it.

Charlotte->Winston Salem-> Durham->Raleigh. Then expand when it catches on. Car rental shops at the terminals would help very much. Otherwise people wouldn't take it.

The reason for an interstate from Wilmington to Charlotte is economical. The shipping traffic is currently going through SC. That state is takign all the taxes and port money... NC could grab lots of that traffic and taxable income - which could be partly put towards the interstate.

Does anyone know of a more updated web site on the progress of this or any improvments to US 74?

Oh, sorry, but as for Shelby? I lived there growing up 1964-1975 - It sucked, I wouldn't build an interstate in the county. They were totally stupid for building McDonalds on a By pass. What idiots.

Now they want to build a bypass around the bypass.

Use 321 and do better entrance ramps and upgrades for 70- MPH traffic

It is April 2006 and the web sites I find are the same since 2003.... ouch.

ur right asheville just mess things up and slow nc and sc down

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North Carolina doesn't need more highways, it needs more trains. Why does every parcel of land seemingly have to be plowed over with asphalt. Especially not in the mountains :angry: . The connections that are available are all pretty good. Maybe and extension for 74 to Myrtle Beach, but thats about it. More rails not roads.

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Rail transit would be very useful for passenger traffic to other parts of the state. When Wilmington, NC deasl with tropical systems moving up the Atlantic coast, any form of quick and rapid evacuation is necessary.

It amuses me South Carolina politicians rest on their laurels when North Carolina wants I-20 extended from Florence, SC to Wilmington. People who evacuate Wilmington can travel to Florence to escape danger, stay at local hotels and eat at local restaurants. This helps the inland area economically. I-20 will be extended soon with the right things in place.

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I have wondered why Myrtle Beach has had no interstate highway access. You'd think that there would be a interstate spur off of I-95 to Myrtle Beach at least before now.

Well, Huntsville used to be the largest city in the country that wasn't connected to an interstate. And yes, I do realize that Huntsville isn't as big of a touist draw as M Beach.

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