United States Representative Tom Rice spoke at the Conway Recreation Center Tuesday afternoon, discussing a variety of issues from health care, government regulation, oil and infrastructure.

Rice explained that his top priority when it comes to infrastructure is getting Interstate 73 built, saying that he expects it to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for all the areas that it would run through.

Three of those counties include Marion County and Marlboro County, each with 15 percent unemployment and Dillon County with 14 percent unemployment.

"This road would travel through all three of those very, very impoverished areas and create a lot more room for economic development," Rice explained.

Rice added that when companies are looking to relocate, a close proximity to an Interstate is a top priority.

Some Conway residents present at Rice's speech say they hope it does more than that. Larry Moore says the Grand Strand needs a better evacuation route.

"Particularly in an emergency, we got to get them out and this would help," Moore explained.

Not everyone feels I-73 will be a good thing. Some environmental groups say it will destroy wetlands.

By Marc Liverman