Carolina Forest Blvd. widening will not begin before Dec. 2018

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Horry County started collecting the ride three sales tax this spring. The county plans to use the money to widen and repair several major roads, including Carolina Forest Boulevard.

Even though the money started coming in during the spring, county leaders say it may take more than a year for construction to begin.

People who live along Carolina Forest Boulevard say they don’t want to wait another year to see the crowded conditions improve.

“In the morning, evening, rush hour, traffic is a nightmare,” describes Carolina Forest resident Tommy Walker. “It’s very busy. It’s difficult to get out of the development.”

Tommy Walker and John Herath both live off Carolina Forest Boulevard in the Covington Lakes development. Extra time and a lot of patience are essential parts of traveling anywhere out of their community.

“Traffic will back up a long ways behind you,” describes Herath. “I’ve seen it backed up a good ways, just for somebody to make a turn. If they put turn off lanes to the developments, it would be nice. I think it would alleviate the traffic quite a bit.”

These residents say the county can’t afford to wait to widen the road.

“The amount of people that live down here, it continues to grow,” justifies Walker. “Just in our neighborhood, in the last year, at least a dozen houses being built. The area’s growing and it’s just increasing the traffic more and more.”

The county is currently working on the design of the project, and Horry County Interim Spokesperson Kelly Brosky says December 2018 is as early as the project can begin.

“Just getting all the various permits takes quite a long amount of time, and then it takes a while for us to go through all the contracts and make sure we’re getting the most qualified bidder for the best price,” justifies Brosky.

However, she says the project is on schedule.

“A lot of people are confused about the ride,” says Brosky, referencing the Ride III project. “They associated the fact that when Ride III started, we were immediately going to start construction. We have so many projects, each project is going to take a while to go through the various procedures.”

The widening of Carolina Forest Boulevard will cost about $55 million. Ride III tax money will pay for the project.

Below is a complete list of Ride III projects and what each will cost county tax payers.

  • $50,000,000 U.S. Hwy. 501 Corridor improvements – SC Hwy. 31 to SC 544
  • $15,000,000 Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
  • $54,700,000 Carolina Forest Boulevard Widening
  • $ 7,500,000 Palmetto Pointe Blvd. Ext. to SC Hwy. 544
  • $21,700,000 SC Hwy. 9 East Widening (Loris)
  • $ 5,000,000 Resurface 33.13 miles of City roads
  • $65,100,000 US Hwy. 701 N Widening (North Conway)
  • $19,300,000 Fred Nash Blvd. connection to Harrelson Blvd. – Myrtle Beach
  • $19,800,000 US Hwy. 17 Business Intersection Improvements – Garden City
  • $89,100,000 Forestbrook Road Widening
  • $15,000,000 Pave 25 miles County dirt roads*
  • $5,000,000 Resurface 33 miles County roads
  • $13,900,000 US Hwy. 501 Realignment from Broadway Street to 7th Avenue North
  • $7,500,000 US Hwy. 701 Widening – North to Loris
  • $18,400,000 Conway Perimeter Road Phase II
  • $5,000,000 Resurface 33.87 miles County roads
  • $25,000,000 Southern Evacuation Lifeline (SELL) – Environmental Studies and Right-of-Way
  • $125,000,000 SC Hwy. 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) Extension To SC/NC State line
  • $15,000,000 Pave 25 miles County dirt roads

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