Having an interstate would provide opportunities to recruit new businesses and industry by virtue of being linked and having proximity to the interstate system. Although the presence of an interstate is not enough to generate new jobs, it is one of the key factors that industries and businesses seek when viewing a facility. Certainly an interstate alone does not necessarily lead to economic growth, but the improved access and mobility from I-73 would provide the Pee Dee Region with enhanced development opportunities. However, the presence of an interstate is a necessary component of the ability to attract new businesses to an area.
It is also anticipated that the construction of a new interstate facility would stimulate the development of tertiary services in close proximity to the corridor. Convenience services such as restaurants, gas stations, and accommodations would provide additional employment and income to the neighboring communities. Opportunities for development of tourist-friendly establishments and recreational facilities would likely increase with an interstate connecting to I-95 and the interstate highway system.
A regional economic model (Figure 6) was run to estimate the effect that I-73 would have on the local economy. A 2.7 billion dollar increase in the gross regional product would occur over a 15 year time period, based on travel efficiencies alone. The accumulated economic output (GRP) over the fifteen-year period is forecasted to be about $2.0 billion for the Preferred Alternative on the Southern segment of the project and $695 million on the Northern segment.