Rice, Graham meet with federal DOT secretary on I-73 funding

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two South Carolina congressmen are asking top federal transportation officials for help finding money to build a new interstate to the coast.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham met Tuesday with Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to discuss potential federal funding for Interstate 73.

The Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit last week to build an 80-mile (130-kilometer) interstate to Myrtle Beach. But turning the decades-long proposal into reality requires money, and state officials promise funding won’t come from state taxes.

The 42-mile (70-kilometer) section that’s the priority of proponents is expected to cost more than $1 billion. State transportation officials say less than $50 million remains from prior earmarks.

Rice says it was crucial to make their case to Chao directly.

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