Wetlands in the way of I-73 to Myrtle Beach

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Building Interstate 73 through four counties in northeastern South Carolina will require crossing about 272 acres of wetlands.

      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking public comment through the end of February on the impact of building more than 75 miles of road for the project.

      Officials say it may be a year before the corps rules on wetlands permits for the project, which has an estimated cost of more than $2 billion.

      Eventually, I-73 will link with an existing expressway to cover 90 miles through South Carolina.

      The highway will be the first interstate link to Myrtle Beach, the heart of South Carolina's $18 billion tourism industry.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)