Skip to main content

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:

http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?list=~\home\lists\search&id=523218

Comments

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.

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…

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 …

Independence Boulevard - Charlotte's First Urban Highway

Today, the major pieces of Charlotte's highway network include the Outerbelt (I-485), Interstates 77 and 85, and the Brookshire and Belk Freeways (I-277), but nearly sixty years ago Charlotte's first major urban highway project would begin.  The construction of Independence Boulevard in the 1940s and early 1950s would give Charlotte and North Carolina its first urban expressway, and would usher in a new era of highway building throughout the state.
With the help of former mayor, Ben Douglas - who sat on the State Highway Commission in the 1940s - the push for building Independence Blvd. began.  In 1946, city residents passed a $200,000 bond issue that would go along with over $2 million in federal funding.  The highway would open in two stages in 1949 and 1950.  When a grade separated interchange was built at South Blvd. and Morehead St. in the mid 1950s, Independence Blvd. was completed. (1)  Although the highway was not a fully controlled access highway, it gave motorists an …