In his recent response to a letter in opposition to the "facts" being espoused by the pro-Interstate 73 clan our supposed Rep. Alan Clemmons once again reiterates all the quite questionable "facts" as presented (asserted) in the questionable "studies" prepared for the proponents of I-73.
Yet again these studies are being held-out as the absolute "end-all and be-all" when it comes to the facts concerning the building of I-73. The statements contained in these studies have been hashed out already but I guess Rep. Clemmons still cannot grasp that there are also studies that disagree with almost everything he contends is true and factual about this project. It is not surprising that he neglects to mentioned these studies.
The employment figures thrown around (7,000 construction jobs/22,000 post-construction jobs) are disputed numbers. Although the project would create employment, there is dispute over the amount of jobs, what they might eventually be and what they would pay. Does the fact that we are creating these jobs solely outweigh the detriment to our environment and the displacement of families and business (some in existence for generations).
And he once again beats this poor dead horse — we need the road for growth. Many believe the Grand Strand is growing just a little too fast as it is and that people like Rep. Clemmons won't be happy until every road is like a parking lot. Fact is I-73, is absolutely all about a dollar. It’s about all the people who are going to make money all along the route of I-73 and about who's going to rake in the money here at the end of I-73. Is it any surprise that the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is spending big bucks promoting I-73 on television commercials and backing I-73.com (why do they get to use our tax dollars promoting their interests?).
Lastly, Rep. Clemmons and his buddies need to get over this idea that I-73 and the SELL(Southern Evacuation Life Line) project will somehow save "thousands" of lives during a hurricane evacuation. Thousand of lives? Really? When was the last time one or two lives were lost during a hurricane evacuation? Almost never.
Yes it would be beneficial to have another route away from the beach but let’s be honest — Who really believes we will lose tens of "thousands" of lives over the next 10 to 20 years until such a road is built?
It is troublesome that these road projects get such political support when it is obvious by the written responses on the Opinion page that these projects are opposed by your readership by a dramatic margin (at least 10 to 1 and probably more like 20 to 1). Contrary to popular belief, there are many, many people who are opposed to the money that is being spent (and will be spent) on these projects which will, if built, destroy large portions of our sensitive environment, move people from their homes and businesses and enrich a relative few.
The writer lives in Garden City.