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The South Carolina coast has long been a prime destination for beach-loving travelers — and with its mild climate, beautiful sandy shores and alluring Atlantic Ocean waters, it’s easy to see why. But did you realize that, despite the region’s popularity, only one U.S. interstate runs all the way to the South Carolina coast? That’s I-26 ending in Charleston — which leaves all of the Grand Strand without a major inbound interstate.
But that could change soon if a quarter century of planning to build Interstate 73 comes to fruition. The north-south thoroughfare would start in Sault Ste. Marie on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula before passing through six states — Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina — and ending on the Grand Strand. A promising potential development for the region, the roadway would add an estimated 2 million visitors a year, ease hurricane-evacuation efforts when major storms are approaching, and bring interstate access to the Myrtle Beach area, which is currently the nation’s busiest resort destination that lacks it.
While North Carolina has completed a nearly 100-mile stretch of I-73 running roughly from Ellerbe to just north of Greensboro, the remaining stretches of the interstate are still awaiting local funding. In South Carolina, current plans envision that I-73 will run through the northeastern portion of the state from the Grand Strand to Bennettsville. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the permits needed to build the South Carolina section of the interstate in 2017, and among the options being considered to fund its construction is making stretches of the interstate’s South Carolina portion a toll road.
On the Grand Strand, plans call for placing I-73’s southern terminus at the junction of U.S. Highway 17 and South Carolina Highway 22 near Briarcliffe Acres. It would then run northwest, roughly following the current SC 22 route past Conway. To see proposed I-73 maps and learn more about its current status, as well as to read news regarding any major developments regarding the interstate and its potential construction, visit http://www.i73.com.
And next time you load up the family car and hit the road with your sights set on the beach, head for your Grand Strand home away from home at North Beach Plantation. Our comfortable accommodations and luxurious amenities are sure to help make your coastal retreat one that’s well worth the drive. Book your Myrtle Beach area getaway today, and get ready to enjoy all the best that the Grand Strand has to offer.