COLUMBIA — An environmental group is complaining South Carolina’s work on a road project for Interstate 73 is illegal.

The State newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/uy0VsS) the Southern Environmental Law Center says state and federal highway agencies are improperly trying to jumpstart construction on I-73 by upgrading U.S. 501 and U.S. 301 near Latta.

The proposed interstate would run from McColl to Myrtle Beach.

The law center says the state should not start the work on U.S. 501 until it gets federal wetlands permits and has a financial plan for the entire project.

The environmental group has written the federal transportation department and the Federal Highway Administration to complain.

State transportation officials say the Federal Highway Administration has said it is not necessary to have a full funding plan to do the work.