Perplexed was my feeling at the last discussion on Interstate 73 and a southern evacuation route. My response to the May 9 editorial "I-73 Work Needs S.C. Consensus" moves me to be quite suspicious of the motives involved in this ill-advised project.
Danny Isaac and Brad Dean seem quite motivated to spend millions of our tax dollars on a project that will not solve any of our immediate roadway problems on the coast. What justification for the squandering of taxpayer dollars is there? To spend $150 million on an interchange and 5 miles of highway is ludicrous when roadways and bridges lay in serious decay throughout the state.
I think it needs to be asked who will benefit and profit from this directly, and at what cost? In a recent letter to the editor, I offered simple alternatives for road projects to the coast. Widening S.C. 9 all the way to Interstate 95 and extending Interstate 20 to intersect S.C. 22. Yes, they will take money to construct, but the feasibility and the logic are there. And if an interstate highway terminus is mentioned, shouldn't Georgetown be its end? A true "southern evacuation route" would be in place for the Strand. If connected to S.C. 31, it would offer quick entry into the Grand Strand. Also, being a port city, Georgetown would immediately benefit from new commerce generated. I gain nothing from these projects other than good, safe and reliable avenues to access and leave the beach, period.
Isaac may be "puzzled" why the entire commission isn't demanding his interchange be constructed, but I am incredulous that it is even being discussed. We do need more direct traffic solutions for the Strand and counties in the Pee Dee that are suffering from economic strife, but I-73 at this time is nothing but a boondoggle of huge proportions.
Sensible, thoughtful and intelligent solutions should be and need to be made. And it is apparent that the Transportation Commission and the governor feel so as well. That is why they don't feel the need to rush into this project. I want decent transportation to and from the beach. I live here as well. My only benefit to my argument against I-73 is that it put a stop to an "Interchange to Nowhere" that wastes my tax dollars. Our tax dollars.
The writer lives in Little River.