Skip to main content

Poll shows a majority of SC Residents support I-73

Recently, WPDE-TV in Myrtle Beach (ABC) and the Zogby International conducted a statewide poll on how residents view I-73.

We asked two questions. The first, whether South Carolinians feel it's important to build an interstate to Myrtle Beach. A clear majority say yes, it's important.
Statewide:
66% - important.
33% - not important
1% - unsure.

When asked whether an interstate should be built to Myrtle Beach for hurricane evacuation purposes, the number jumps. Not only that, the number who believe it's "very" important is higher in the midlands and lowcountry, than it is here on the coast.
Statewide:
82% - important
18% - not important
Disclaimer:

The article doesn't state how many residents were polled and what the margin of error is/was. The poll seems to have been done at the same time the station and Zogby ran a statewide poll for the SC Presidential primaries. In one poll, 512 South Carolina Republicans were polled with a 4.5% margin of error. No data was given on the amount of Democrats polled, quite possibly around the same.

So possibly 1000 South Carolina residents may have been asked about I-73 in this poll.

Story:
Massive support for interstate to Myrtle Beach --WPDE-TV

Commentary:
The results don't surprise me, and the article does state the biggest benefit to this poll is that lobbyists (The I-73 Corridor Association) can and will use this data to influence state and federal funding to the project.

There is no doubt that better and more efficient evacuation routes from the Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand Area is necessary. Currently, US 501 is the only full four lane highway that runs from I-95 to the beach. The route is at-grade which makes reversing lanes (a feature used on Interstates and other freeways for coastal evacuation) next to impossible. SC Highway 9 is another four-lane highway that leads out of North Myrtle Beach. However, it is a two lane highway that runs through small towns for 34 miles north of Green Sea to Dillon and I-95, and to my knowledge there are no plans to upgrade SC 9 to a four lane here.

Because I-73 will be access controlled, local authorities and SCDOT's ability to reverse the highway is much easier. Gates can be used at southbound ramps blocking traffic from getting on the highway when a reverse flow is in use. One example of this is in Georgia on Interstate 16.

I haven't seen studies of this yet...but I would be interested in seeing how much evacuation traffic I-73 would hold, and how much of an improvement in evacuation time and flow I-73 will have over existing plans.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …