S.C. Senator Graham Calls I-73 Corridor a 'Game Changer'

'Interchange of Hope' would serve as a key driver to tourism and state economy

Jan 20, 2010, 14:10 ET from North Eastern Strategic Alliance

FLORENCE, S.C., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives of the North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA), an economic development organization encompassing South Carolina's northeast region, recently joined elected state leaders in Washington to promote efforts to secure federal stimulus funding for a proposed I-73 corridor.

Officially named the "Interchange of Hope," this corridor will provide a modern highway system linking Myrtle Beach with I-95. Construction alone will generate 10,000 jobs, planners say.

"I-73 is the largest economic development project in South Carolina history and has the ability to make traveling to some of our most visited tourist destinations safer and more efficient," said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). "This project will create new jobs and investment in some of the underserved, economically challenged areas of our state.  I-73 is a game changer.  For the future prosperity of our state, we must take I-73 from the drawing board to reality."

In addition to Sen. Graham, NESA met with Sen. Jim DeMint (R), and Reps. Henry Brown (R), James Clyburn (D), and John Spratt (R).

During the meetings, the local leaders and legislators reiterated their request that the South Carolina's Congressional delegation support the State's application to receive a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for construction of the I-73 'Interchange of Hope.'

"Our organization will continue to steadfastly work to secure funding for the I-73 interchange until we've made this vital project come to fruition," said NESA executive director Jeff McKay.

The North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) is a regional economic development organization that serves nine-counties in northeast South Carolina. NESA's primary objective is to enhance significantly the quality of life for residents of the region by creating additional jobs and capital investment within the existing industry base as well as through recruitment of new companies and expansion of tourism related development. NESA's nine member counties are Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg.

SOURCE North Eastern Strategic Alliance