DILLON, S.C. (WBTW) — Some Dillon city leaders believe its portion of Interstate 73 would be devastating to the economy.
Monday night, Dillon City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing SCDOT’S proposed route in Dillon County. Dillon City councilman James David told News13 the proposed route will deter traffic through the city which could deprive the city of economic growth.
“We’ve suffered in the past and we’re trying to rebuild what we have downtown in our community at this time and I think stuff like that would really damage us,” David said.
SCDOT plans to put I-73 right outside of Dillon County which he said would restrict access for travelers.
“You go down [I-73] and there’s no off-ramps to Dillon County. I mean you think of that, I mean it’s devastating,” David said.
Meanwhile, Senator Kent Williams, who represents Dillon, Horry, Marion, and Marlboro counties stands firmly in an opposite lane.
“A lot of the tourists that would be using I-73, they’re coming down from kind of Charlotte, 74 — that really don’t go through Dillon,” Williams said.
Williams said I-73 is crucial to economic growth needed across the Pee Dee and Grand Strand. State Representative Jackie Hayes represents Dillon County.
He supports I-73 but said progress can be made without putting the county at risk.
“Why don’t we just go ahead and four-lane Highway 9 which would be very cost-effective and maybe we can just tweak I-73 a little bit where it wouldn’t go around all of Dillon County,” Hayes said.
Hayes tells News13 Highway 9 expansion is the main priority right now.
“I think a lot of those guys in Horry County are kind of thinking like I do. Let’s take care of the roads that we have already now and try to improve those before we venture off into this major infrastructure project,” Hayes said.
Hayes worries that this could put the building of I-73 at a standstill unless a compromise is made.
News13 reached out to SCDOT if this proposed route is the only option for Dillon County and we’re waiting to hear back.