MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Funding for a study to address issues along Highway 90 has been approved by the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study
The $200,000 study will allow GSATS to identify the most pressing needs, determine how they can be phased in and how much they will cost.
The study will focus from Highway 90 to 501 Business 9 in North Myrtle Beach.
“What we’re trying to do is address the growth areas, and this is an obvious growth area,” said Mark Hoeweler, assistant executive director at the Waccamaw Regional Council Governments.
Representative Kevin Hardee, the GSATS vice-chairman, said they can’t do this alone and that input is needed from county leaders, the Highway 90 task force, and community members.
“The infrastructure is not keeping up with the developing,” Felicia Soto, who lives in the Highway 90 area, said.
Soto previously organized the last two Highway 90 community meetings.
“Growth is, it’s happening,” she said. “If people really think they’re going to stop this growth, it’s not. It’s happening, so what do we do now that it’s happening? What do we do? Where do we start?”
Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said the council could start with smaller projects, such as putting in turning lanes, installing stoplights and modifying intersections — if they can find the funding.
For the bigger, long-term projects, the GSATS Highway 90 study needs to be done and that’ll take about a year. Those long-term projects, like possibly widening 90, will take years.
“From the conceptual stage, to the planning stage, to the construction stage, usually takes eight to 10 years on a good time frame,” Hoeweler said.
Soto said: “Ultimately, we all want the same thing. Unfortunately, the way as residents want it. We want it yesterday. … It’s not happening that way.”
Soto said in the meantime, residents should get involved. “You want to make a change, don’t wait for one person to be the voice. You have to be the voice as well. You have to get up, get to county council’s meetings,” Soto said.
Hardee said there will be future community meetings as the study progresses.