May 29 2007
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has invited U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters to visit Grand Strand for a first-hand view of the region’s transportation needs.
Graham says Secretary Peters tentatively accepted the invitation several weeks ago and is tentatively scheduled to visit this Friday, June 1. Details of her visit are still being finalized and will be announced in the next several days.
"I am very pleased the Secretary of Transportation is scheduled to visit the Grand Strand," said Graham. "We have very pressing short and long-term transportation needs. This is an opportunity to show Secretary Peters’ first-hand our needs and encourage the department to be a partner in our effort to address them. I appreciate her willingness to come and hear our story."
Graham noted that Secretary Peters has more than a 20 year career addressing transportation needs. She earned a reputation as an innovative problem solver, a force for safety, and an advocate for the effective use of taxpayer dollars.
Peters served as Federal Highway Administrator in 2001 and served in the position until 2005. During her tenure there she placed special emphasis on finding new ways to invest in road and bridge construction. She also pursued innovative public-private partnerships that helped build roads faster and at less expense.
"Tourism is one of the leading industries in our state," said Graham. "I-73 is an incredibly important road for the future of the Grand Strand and really, the entire state. Our local, state, and federal officials understand the importance of this future interstate. Now, we need to impress upon the Secretary of DOT our unified commitment to helping turn it into reality. I think her visit to the Grand Strand will certainly help in the effort."
Graham concluded by noting that many elected officials and local organizations such as the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, the I-73 Association, and NESA deserve credit for continuing to help push for construction of I-73.
"Pushing I-73 forward truly is a team effort," said Graham.