WASHINGTON, D.C.—Interstate 73 in South Carolina is the first project to have a slot reserved under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program. Participation in the program will allow South Carolina to use certain types of federal-aid highway funds along with other public and private revenue to construct, operate, and maintain I-73. The program does not offer specific funding but gives states authority to raise revenue through tolling.

South Carolina plans to build an 80-mile stretch of new interstate highway connecting I-73/I-74 south of Rockingham, N.C., to the Myrtle Beach area on the coast, linking the two states to support economic growth and tourism in the region, as well as emergency evacuation. According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters, the program also allows other states to expand I-73.