MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is reassuring his commitment of $300 million for I-73 one month after Horry County Councilman Harold Worley said it was “not going to happen.”
While he was in Myrtle Beach Thursday, McMaster told News13 he knows the money will come from the legislature, but it’s ultimately up to them.
“The legislature of course will have to make the decision when they get back in January, but there’s a lot of money that’s coming into the state,” McMaster said. “Federal money coming, that of course is not free money. The country will have to pay that back one day.”
In October, McMaster traveled to Myrtle Beach and pledged $300 million for I-73. The I-73 project is estimated to cost about $2.3 billion. At the announcement, he said he was hopeful a commitment from the state would strengthen the commitment from federal legislators working to secure money for the project.
Federal money is what McMaster said is coming, but at last month’s Horry County Council meeting, Worley said it wasn’t going to happen.
“So you send us $300 million to Horry County — which that’s not going to happen, we all know that. We all know it,” he said during the meeting last month. “The leadership in the House has already said it’s not going to happen. The governor can beg all he wants to. That’s all he can do is beg. But the fact remains it is not going to happen.”
When News13 asked McMaster if any House leaders have told him they were supportive of the proposal, he said several have.
“There’s some that want to make sure that their part of the state is not overlooked,” McMaster said. “There will be a lot of tugging and talking but I think it’ll work out just fine.”
On Friday morning, Worley told News13 his position has changed since his comments in November, largely due to congress passing the infrastructure bill. The legislature would still have to approve it. Worley said he would be willing to do an interview, but several call attempts went unanswered.
South Carolina’s part of I-73 would run from the Rockingham/Hamlet area, into Marlboro County, and then Dillon County, before intersecting with Interstate 95, and then hitting Highway 22 in the Myrtle Beach/Conway area.