Farmers express concern over planned Highway 31 extension; drivers say it’s needed

Grand Strand

LITTLE RIVER, SC (WBTW) – A project that would extend the Carolina Bays Parkway northward is in development.

The extension would run from the parkway’s present terminus at Highway 9 to Highway 17 in Brunswick County, North Carolina.

Some drivers are calling the plan a ‘lifesaver.’

Others are worried.

“We’re just very concerned right now because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Assistant Manager of Indigo Farms Sallie Lun said.

She explained that several of the potential paths for the extension would interfere with her family’s multi-generational business. Indigo Farms is known for its production of certified-organic produce. The farm has been there for six generations.

“Several of the proposed plans would either pave on top of where our market is, or pave on top of where our fields are,” Lun said. “And obviously where there are cars we’re not able to produce food.”

Her father- Sam Bellamy- has been farming his whole life. He says the thought of an infrastructure project uprooting his land is a tough one to swallow.

“You’re seeing the end of almost like yourself in some ways,” Bellamy said. “Emotionally it’s pretty hard. You’re wiping away a lot of memories that you know would never be perpetuated.”

The farm took their concerns to Facebook, where over 200 people shared their post.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation told News13 in a statement the project is designed to relieve traffic congestion in the area while also increasing safety.

The project backed by NC DOT and SC DOT. The agencies are holding public meetings this week to provide information and hear any concerns.

  • Dec. 03, 2019 04:00 PM – 07:00 PM
    Sea Trail Convention Center
    75A Clubhouse Road
    Sunset Beach, NC
  • Dec. 04, 2019 04:00 PM – 07:00 PM
    VFW Post 10804
    111 State Highway 57 North
    Little River, SC

The folks at Indigo Farm are hoping community members will show their support for the farm at these meetings.

“I encourage people to voice their support for sparing the farm and that’s pretty much needed,” Bellamy said. “People who make these decisions don’t live here. It’s done far away. And they need to know from the grassroots level.”

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