‘Devastating’: Town of Dillon leaders fear I-73 will slow economic growth
DILLON, SC (WBTW) – Some leaders in the town of Dillon believe its portion of Interstate 73 would be devastating to the economy.
On Monday evening, Dillon City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing SCDOT’s proposed route in Dillon County. Dillon City Councilor James David told News13 the proposed route would deter traffic in the city, potentially robbing the city of its economic growth.
“We have suffered in the past and we are trying to rebuild what we have downtown in our community right now and I think things like that would really damage us,” David said.
SCDOT plans to place I-73 just outside of Dillon County, which it says would restrict access for travelers.
” You going down [I-73] and there is no exit to County Dillon. I mean you think about it, I mean it’s devastating, ”David said.
Meanwhile, Senator Kent Williams, who represents Dillon, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties, stands firmly in the opposite direction.
“A lot of tourists that would use I-73, they’re kind of from Charlotte, 74 – who really don’t go through Dillon,” Williams said.
Williams said I-73 is crucial for the economic growth needed in the Pee Dee and the Grand Strand. State Representative Jackie Hayes represents Dillon County.
He backs I-73 but said progress can be made without putting the county at risk.
“Why not go ahead with the four-lane Highway 9 which would be very cost effective and maybe we could just tweak I-73 a bit where it wouldn’t bypass all of Dillon County? “said Hayes.
Hayes tells News13 that the expansion of Highway 9 is the top priority right now.
“I think a lot of these guys in Horry County think a lot like me. Let’s take care of the roads we already have and try to improve them before we venture into this big infrastructure project, ”said Hayes.
Hayes fears this will block construction of I-73 unless a compromise is found.
News13 has contacted SCDOT if this proposed route is the only option for Dillon County and we are awaiting a return.