WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) today met with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to discuss funding and next steps for the Interstate 73 construction project. 
“Now that we have the construction permit in hand I’m looking at every possible option for funding, from grants to appropriations to President Trump’s infrastructure package,” said Congressman Rice. “I’m leaving no stone unturned in advancing this project, so it was critical that the case for I-73 was made directly to Secretary Chao. I thank her for meeting with us and for her commitment to helping advance this project going forward.” 
“I greatly appreciate Secretary Chao for taking time to meet with us to discuss this project which is absolutely vital to the region and state as a whole,” said Senator Graham.  “I-73 is important from the economic development and security perspective and we wanted to make our case directly to the Secretary.  Finally, Congressman Rice has been relentless in his efforts to keep this project moving forward.  I appreciate him and all our local, state, and federal officials who continue to push this project toward completion.  It’s truly a team effort.” 
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Congressman Rice and Senator Graham have worked closely with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers to advance the I-73 construction project. The mitigation plan for the I-73 permit application was submitted in May 2016 and was approved by the Army Corps of Engineers last week. Congressman Rice and Senator Graham met with Secretary Chao at her office in Washington, D.C. to update her on the current status of the project and to discuss ways to move the project forward, including through federal funding.