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FHWA Secretary Discusses I-73 in SC

According to the article linked in the title from a news conference held today in Florence, SC, FHWA secretary Ray LaHood "was positive it (I-73) will get some federal funding. The interstate would start in Michigan, pass through Ohio and two other states.

Supporters of I-73 were thrilled to have LaHood in their backyard, discussing the virtues of their favorite road. But their enthusiasm depends on what Congress does with a new transportation funding bill that will come up next year."

"LaHood says, next year, President Barack Obama will put a 6-year, $500-billion transportation funding bill before Congress. He says I-73 is a perfect fit for that bill. "If this is South Carolina's priority, if this is the region's priority, I have no doubt it will be a part of the 6-year plan."

I-73 supporters have been waiting a long time. Chamber of Commerce leaders told LaHood, the interstate was first proposed in 1980, when textiles and tobacco were South Carolina's big industries."

"LaHood said one factor that will help ensure funding, is to push the multi-state coalition, getting states like Michigan and Ohio involved. He says there's more power when states work together.

Supporters say construction of I-73 would create 38,000 jobs over five years. The interstate would start in Michigan, pass through Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina near Highway 52. The interstate would then intersect with I-95, head toward Myrtle Beach and connect with Highway 501 before merging with Highway 22, the Conway Bypass. Highway 22 would actually become I-73."

The article has a couple news video links with LaHood's remarks. The I-73/74 Association's idea to bring back Ohio and Michigan back to the table is to add I-75 to the Priority Corridor. What do you do though when you have a Washington Rally to discuss this with corridor politicians, most of whom had left town already (oops). You make news by renaming your association the I-73/74/75 Association. Don't look for this news on their web site, as usual it hasn't been updated in a couple months.

Meantime, here's the Michigan perspective on what happened in DC and SC:\home\lists\search&id=523218


Frank Brosnan said…
Michigan should not be a priority for I-73. If they are not smart enough to figure the potential economic benefit that the highway would bring to the region then start the road in Toledo and allocate the funds to building the road in the states that want it.

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