Project History

I-73 Project

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Project History

From 1982 to Current

Efforts on the project that is now known as Interstate 73 began over 20 years ago. The segment of the I-73 Southern project located in Dillon County is shovel ready and is able to advance to construction as funding becomes available. A brief description of significant actions is detailed below.

  • 1982 – US Congress passed an appropriation bill that required the study of designating and constructing a new highway connecting I-95 south to US 17 near Myrtle Beach.
  • 1991 – US Congress passed (ISTEA) Intermodal Surface Transportation Equity Act and identified Interstate 73 as a high priority route from Detroit to Charleston, SC. Each state would have the flexibility to determine its preferred route location.
  • 1994 – SCDOT commissioned a consultant to assist with compiling a feasibility study that focused on upgrading existing routes to provide a continuous multi-lane facility from Charleston to the North Carolina terminus.
  • 1995 – Congress passed the National Highway System Designation Act that included a provision to make Interstate 73 eligible for the Interstate Highway System contingent upon meeting interstate design and connectivity standards.
  • 1998 – Congress passed (TEA-21) Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century, which amended previous Interstate 73 legislation. TEA-21 changed the ending point of Interstate 73 in South Carolina by limiting the corridor to the Conway, Myrtle Beach and Georgetown areas. TEA-21 also mandated that the highway be designed to meet interstate standards.
  • 2002 – SCDOT initiated an internal study of Interstate 73 to focus on identifying new location alternatives that would be built to interstate standards.
  • 2003 – A congressional earmark of $3 million was approved for I-73. SCDOT Commission approved the use of a consultant to complete an initial environmental document.
  • 2004 – SCDOT selected a consultant to begin the environmental study process. Two Notices of Intent (one for a project from I-95 to the South Carolina/North Carolina State line, and another for a project from I-95 to the Myrtle Beach area) were published in August. Two Public Scoping Meetings (one in Mullins and one in Conway) were conducted in September to obtain input from residents within the Study Area to determine critical issues.
  • 2007 & 2008 – Environmental Impact State (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) was approved by SCDOT and FHWA for Northern and Southern segement of I-73.
  • 2009 – Right of way plans were completed for southern segment and acquisition began.
  • 2013 – Right of Way acquisitions on the southern segment of I-73 for sections A1 and A2 in Dillon County were completed.
  • 2016 – Construction completed on TIGER grant interim project for I-73 southern segment in Dillon County which consisted of replacing of bridge over I-95 on S-17-63 (Catfish Rd), 2-lane to 3-lane widening on US 501 and US 301, and intersection improvements at US 501/US 301 in the Town of Latta.
  • 2017 – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) approves Clean Water Act Section 401/404 permit.
  • Current Status – I-73 Northern project is currently inactive until further funding is identified. I-73 Southern project construction plans are currently being updated for segments between I-95 and US 501 in Dillon County, as funding becomes available. Right of Way acquisition is currently ongoing for segments of I-73 located in Marion and Horry Counties.