CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County is pushing to extend a busy road in Carolina Forest to improve traffic in the area.
Neighborhoods around Carolina Forest keep growing and with more cars on the roads, the county is looking at connecting Gardner Lacy Road to International Drive to help improve traffic.
“The county certainly sees the need for that extension of Gardner Lacy out to International Drive, so that was already submitted as part of the proposal for this,” said county spokesperson Kelly Moore.
That proposal was to create what’s called a wetlands mitigation bank, which would allow the county to save money on infrastructure projects by preserving wetlands.
“If we have future construction projects, particularly road projects, that are going to impact or disturb wetlands, rather that purchase those mitigation credits on the open market, we’ve actually created a wetlands mitigation bank that would help offset some of that,” Moore said.
The county bought about 3,700 acres of woods and wetlands last year between the end of Gardner Lacy and I-Drive. Other than a road, that land could have trails and other recreation uses like what’s at the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve, on the other side of I-Drive.
If the mitigation bank is approved, the county would then figure out when to do the project, like in a possible RIDE IV program.
“That route could be approved for that use and we would already own the land, so that would be the point at which we would determine how we were going to fund the road, where it would fit into something like that,” said Moore.
You must mail public comments about the wetlands mitigation bank proposal in writing to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: Regulatory Division, 69A Hagood Avenue, Charleston, SC, 29403. When writing, reference the project number SAC-2019-01910.
The Army Corps of Engineers is taking comments until Monday, Dec. 23.