The Army Corps of Engineers has issued a permit for the construction of Interstate 73.
That’s according to congressman Tom Rice (R-S.C.) who today announced the decision in a news release.
“Since I got to Congress construction of I-73 has been my top priority and this permit is a result of a lot of hard work and collaboration,” Rice said in the release. “We still have a ways to go but we’re closer than ever and I won’t stop until this project is complete and people are driving on this road.”
Studies indicate that I-73, which would run between Interstate 95 and Myrtle Beach, will generate approximately 22,000 permanent and 7,700 temporary jobs in South Carolina, according to the release.
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Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Sean McBride said that the Corp is not involved in the project and the permit was to allow for the filling of wetlands needed for construction.
McBride said the only role the Corps will play in the future is monitoring the work to make sure the South Carolina Department of Transportation is in compliance with the permit.
“The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is thrilled that the federal government has finally issued a permit for the construction of Interstate 73,” Chamber President Brad Dean said in an emailed statement.
“Now that the federal government has issued the permit, we can begin to gather the funds to complete this important project,” he said in the statement. “(Interstate) 73 will bring more jobs, higher wages, economic growth and an alternate hurricane evacuation route.”
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation did not immediately return requests for comment Tuesday.