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I-77 interchange to get $34.6M federal infusion

Staff Report //June 18, 2020//

I-77 interchange to get $34.6M federal infusion

Staff Report //June 18, 2020//

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A planned relocation of the Carolina Panthers’ NFL headquarters to Rock Hill has gotten a $34.6 million boost.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday that is awarding $34.6 million toward the construction of a new interchange on Interstate 77 to facilitate development of a planned 234-acre site, which will include a new Panthers practice facility and community event space.

The funding is part of a $906 million investment in infrastructure nationwide through department’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America discretionary grant program, according to a news release.

“This Administration is focused on infrastructure improvements and this $906 million in federal funding will improve major highways, bridges, ports, and railroads across the country to better connect our communities, enhance safety, and support economic growth,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in the release.

The Transportation Department said the I-77 interchange, near mile marker 81, “supports economic vitality by providing direct interstate access to the business development” and will help reduce travel time for motorists accessing the development.

“The project demonstrates high innovation through a design-build delivery method and the local adoption of dedicated sales tax for transportation infrastructure in York County,” the release said.

South Carolina offered the Panthers around $115 million in state tax discounts to relocate their headquarters to Rock Hill from Charlotte. The incentive package, approved by state legislators in May 2019, also included $40 million in tax dollars to construct the interchange.