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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—On Sept. 2, 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks ruled in favor of the federal government and its decision to approve plans to build U.S. Interstate 73, which would connect the Grand Strand to I-95 and beyond. In the 43-page opinion, Judge Hendricks denied claims by the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (CCL) and dismissed the lawsuit.
A copy of the ruling can be found HERE.
In response, Karen Riordan, the President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce hailed the judge’s ruling as a success for the entire state. “Today’s order is a colossal win for Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the entire state of South Carolina. I-73 is a public safety and economic development necessity for South Carolina. The project is well-vetted and that’s why the Federal Government issued a permit authorizing construction in June 2017. The project has now withstood the scrutiny of the U.S. District Court. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce was pleased to provide a brief to the court after being granted ‘friend of the court’ status. We will remain committed to this project that so many area residents and businesses see as a lifeline for the Grand Strand.”
S.C. Governor Henry McMaster said, “South Carolina’s ability to reach its great potential is dependent on having the infrastructure necessary to foster economic growth and improve every South Carolinians’ quality of life. Completing I-73 is a critical component of our state’s future prosperity and I’m glad to see that we’re one step closer to seeing this project come to fruition.”
U.S. Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC) said, “Today, we’ve overcome a large hurdle to the construction of I-73 that has put the project on unnecessary hold for years. I’m extremely pleased to hear today’s court decision allows the construction permit for I-73 to stand. As I’ve said time and time again, there is nothing I can do to enhance people’s lives and opportunities in this District than to get that road built. The Grand Strand is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the country. It’s time our infrastructure meets that demand. I will continue to do all I can at the federal level to make sure this project comes to fruition.”
S.C. Rep. Case Brittain, who serves as the chair of the National I-73/74/75 Corridor Association, said, “This is welcome news regarding Interstate 73 in South Carolina. This project was studied for years by multiple federal and state agencies. Once completed, the National I-73/74/75 Corridor will traverse six states (SC, NC, VA, WV, OH, MI) to Ontario, Canada. Studies have estimated that once completed in South Carolina, I-73 will help create 23,000 new jobs in our state and provide a critical hurricane evacuation route for the coast. I’m grateful to my partners in all six corridor states for their hard work on this project that will increase safety and economic opportunity for so many.
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