Yipee! Yet another biased study concerning construction of the proposed I-73 pipe-dream is be touted by The Sun News (massive headline) and the usual I-73 proponents. Although the article did not disclose who paid for the study, it is not a stretch to believe that it was either the DOT or the Chamber of Commerce or even the I-73 crowd itself.
Now it is being asserted that we only need to establish tolls, connect the interstate to S.C. 22 and the other pipe-dream roadway (SELL) and wait for the money to roll in. Happy days are here again!
There are so many issues with this study that one does not know where to begin. First, if in fact there is money set aside in the RIDE III proposal to pay for anything in connection with the SELL or I-73 projects, then RIDE III should be voted down to start. There are many who disagree in principle with the expenditures, the proposed routes of each and the need for either of these proposed roads.
The spending of RIDE III funds toward these ventures rather than using the tax money to improve present roads in Horry County is detestable. The placement of any such expenditures as part of the road tax program is akin to attaching “pork” to any legislation. A select few benefit because the bulk of the legislation passes.
Then there is the issue of the tolls. Wow - we get $2.3 billion over 40 years. Repeat - 40 years. That is just $57.5 million per year. I'm thinking you can pretty much guarantee that $2.3 billion 40 years from now will hardly pay for the roadway and $57.5 million annually probably will not even pay to maintain it.
And did you notice that the locals who rely on S.C. 22 to get back and forth from Conway will have to start paying for the privilege of riding on the road they already helped pay for? Oh yeah - they'll get a break (why should they pay at all?) and the proposal is to mail the tourists their toll bill. What meager portion of that do you suppose will get collected? Is this a great country or what?
And lastly, how ridiculous is the notion that the I-73 proponents are waiting to see if legislation proposing to “charge” entities that get in the way of the “big-money” freight-train put up a “ransom” in order to raise objections to their insanity? Can this proposal actually be for real? Should we start assessing people with a “deposit” in order to use our court system? Speaking of unconstitutional - Are you kidding?
The writer lives in Garden City Beach.