SCDOT Proposes Incurring Additional Interstate 73 Costs

“ENVIRONMENTAL MITIGATION” PROPOSED … FOR A ROAD THAT MAY NEVER BE BUILT What’s the best way to get a totally unnecessary, multi-billion dollar boondoggle funded?  That’s easy: Make it part of a so-called “shortfall” in highway funding. Another way to “green-light” this $2.4 billion project?  Sink tens of millions of…


What’s the best way to get a totally unnecessary, multi-billion dollar boondoggle funded?  That’s easy: Make it part of a so-called “shortfall” in highway funding.

Another way to “green-light” this $2.4 billion project?  Sink tens of millions of dollars into it and then demand it be completed in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”

If all that doesn’t work, proponents could then get one of their own appointed as the new chairman of the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) – even though this particular individual has been instrumental in keeping this scandal-scarred agency‘s fiscal mismanagement hidden from public view.

Well guess what: All of that has happened … and is still happening in South Carolina.

All in the name of Interstate 73 … a road that studies have shown doesn’t need to be built.

The latest?

According to our sources, SCDOT is planning to spend millions of dollars this year on environmental “wetlands mitigation” projects for Interstate 73 – even though they have yet to secure the money for the road itself (and even though new SCDOT chairman Mike Wooten tried to conceal the results of a study revealing Interstate 73 will be a toll road).

For those of you unhip to the scam, “environmental mitigation” is basically a bribe to the liberal environmental lobby – which takes millions of tax dollars to “conserve” land to offset the property impacted by a particular project.

(For more on that scam, click here).

Basically, this is another way of sinking money into this wasteful, unnecessary project in the hopes elected officials will have no choice but to fund it.

Ridiculous …

State leaders love to bemoan South Carolina’s “infrastructure shortfall,” but then they turn around and throw money at environmental mitigation projects for roads that may never be built?  And should never be built?

All while real needs go unaddressed?

What a joke … and we wonder why this state’s roads and bridges are in such a sorry state despite billions of dollars in new money?


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Tazmaniac January 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Follow the money trail, this isn’t happening by accident.

RogueElephant January 26, 2016 at 11:25 am

RIGHT. Nothing in politics happens by accident. Following the money usually leads to the real source of the deal. I wonder who will get the concrete contract for the new bridges on I-73 ?????? Probably some “minority owned” business. LOL

Napoleon Reese February 2, 2016 at 8:23 am

Or CINTRA, the Tamargo that tries to build tolls on 77

Modern day Strom January 25, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Buy my swampland in the road path for environmental mitigation and make me rich(er)!

RogueElephant January 26, 2016 at 11:22 am

It will be interesting to find out who owns the “mitigated” land.

Guest January 25, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Didn’t The Nerve break this story over a week ago?

TrikkiNikki January 25, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Mitigation is required for ANY project that impacts wetlands or streams. This can be traced back to the Clean Water Act which has been around since 1972. It’s not some sort of “scam” dreamed up by environmentalists, it’s a way of offsetting environmental impacts related to large, environmentally damaging projects. Here are a few recent SC projects that required mitigation: Carolina Bays Parkway, I-520 near Aiken, I-85/386 Interchange, Haile Gold Mine, Volvo Plant site, Bees Ferry Road Widening, ACE Basin Parkway, and Hwy 378 Widening in Florence County.

I think one of the most prudent laws ever passed was the Clean Water Act. Don’t agree? Let’s go back to the 1960’s when there were rivers catching on fire due to whatever crazy shit was being dumped into them. If you don’t like clean water, move to China.

fl ? p January 25, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Wasting your time, sorry sir but this website does not appear to care to take a look at history where hundreds of new construction has lead to disastrous effects on the surrounding ecosystem and even caused unintentional damage to other peoples’ property due to not planning for things like that. This isn’t just an environmental issue or government spending issue, it is an issue for the surrounding populace that they need some assurance that their property won’t be in danger of flooding due to poor planning.

If you want to disagree with I-73 then great but if it is being done do it right.

TrikkiNikki January 26, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Who are you calling sir? They’re going through the motions and this is the next step of getting I-73 built. While I don’t agree that it’s needed, at least this guarantees not all of Horry County will turn into one giant trailer park with some awful strip clubs.

jimlewisowb January 25, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Them bubbas at SCDOT really know how to rub your nose in a pile of dog shit

dave January 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

What?? You think John Hardee doesn’t know what he’s doing?

Painful Truth January 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Lots of construction, paving and material companies are pushing for us to spend millions more. The more money SCDOT gets, the more the companies get. None of them care about accountability. Look at their audits. Just because the gas tax has remained the same, don’t mean they haven’t gotten more funding. They’ve received millions more.

Rocky Verdad January 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Build it, and they will come. Build it, and they will come. Just what we need, an interstate to the trailer parks.

fundamentals January 25, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Seems to me that SC should do something about clogged up I-26.

RogueElephant January 26, 2016 at 11:20 am

I-26 and I-95 should be widened to six lanes before anything else is built. I-73 has been a waste of money we don’t have since it was dreamed up. An upgrade of US501 would do the same job at much less cost.

Owl January 25, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Wetlands mitigations equals large salaries for personal at certain land conversations groups or trust. It also ensures large legal and consulting fees, which of course go to the enviro-insiders. My ex-wife used to play in that field and she made a fortune.

dave January 25, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Is Abraham Turner in charge of this? Sounds like something he would be doing.

The Colonel (R) January 25, 2016 at 9:27 pm

The only time one of these scans has worked in the favor of the citizens of our fair state was the Conway By pass / Sandy Island swap that made the undeveloped portion of Sandy into a wildlife refuge.

Herman W. "Buz" Martin January 25, 2016 at 10:34 pm


tomstickler January 25, 2016 at 9:53 pm

The Draft Report that SCDOT spent $200,000 on for a study of toll revenue on I-73 contains projections of future population and employment in the I-73 corridor made by Chmura Economics & Analytics.

Yes, the same outfit that assumed travelers on I-73 would save one to two hours travel time (over 45 miles of new road), then assumed the time saved would encourage more tourists to come to Myrtle Beach, then assumed that each and every one of 15.2 million tourists per year would all travel on I-73. This was calculated to create 18,856 new tourism-related jobs just from this travel time savings.

Chmura used the flawed projections of jobs and population from the 2011 study in projecting potential toll revenues in the new study Wooten is trying to keep under wraps. The toll receipts are insufficient to fund and maintain I-73 based on the inflated figures Chmura used. They would be even less in reality.

Wooten, Alan Clemmons, Brad Dean and the rest of the I-73 gang have accused “environmental terrorists” of extortion in previous mitigation negotiations. Accepting Gunter’s Island as mitigation for I-73 would be spun as proof of that accusation. See, they would say: environmentalists’ opposition can be bought off with a big enough bribe.

LouieBuoy January 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm

SCDOT should wait another 10 years. Maybe the price will come down. Worth a shot…


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