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      US Transportation Secretary visits SC for I-73

      U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says his department will help make Interstate 73 a reality but it must also be a priority for states from Michigan to South Carolina.

      FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says his department will help make Interstate 73 a reality but it must also be a priority for states from Michigan to South Carolina.

      Several media outlets report LaHood made the comment at a gathering of lawmakers and others in Florence on Friday.

      LaHood said the governors of Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina must decide on priorities with Congress preparing to reauthorize the federal highway bill.

      I-73 will cross six states linking Michigan to Myrtle Beach. It's expected to cost $2 billion to build it 90 miles across four South Carolina counties.

      The highway is considered crucial to South Carolina because it will provide the first interstate link to Myrtle Beach, the heart of the state's $18 billion tourism industry.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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