Hwy. 31 extension project ongoing despite previous completion dates

Grand Strand

There is still no end in sight to the Hwy. 31 extension and resurfacing projects. A portion of the highway is now gravel, and just recently, loose gravel hazard signs were installed.

Joe Blackmon, the owner of Myrtle Beach Granite and Marble, says he’s one business owner who’s work has been affected by the gravel. His business is located right near where Hwy. 31 will be extended.

He describes the gravel part of the unfinished Hwy. 31 resurfacing project as a hazard.

“We use this road everyday to go back and forth up North and the biggest negative for us is the rocks that fly up if somebody changes lanes in front of you, there’s a lot of rocks that come up,” he said. “We’ve replaced countless windshields.”

They’ve replaced near 10 windshields, Blackmon says. He says it’s also the impact of having to take a work vehicle out of service.

“Our product is countertops, granite, quartz, things like that, they’re mounted on the side of the vans themselves, so every now and then on those rocks, you get some chipping and things in the countertop that we have to repair in the field,” he said. “So, that’s definitely a negative impact as well.”

Horry County councilmember Johnny Vaught says the gravel is not as much of a problem.

“I’ve not seen any graevl problems at all. There may be some down right around where construction is going on, and you’d expect that kind of thing to go on. When you’ve got trucks hauling gravel and coquina, their wheels are going to pick stuff up and they’re going to throw it,” Vaught said.

Horry County spokesperson Kelly Moore told News13 in an October interview that the project would be finished in December, but the project remains incomplete.

It would resurface the road, and extend it to Hwy. 544 and Hwy. 707.

Hurricane flooding delayed it after construction began in 2014, but Vaught says there might be a completion date in mind.

“We’re still hoping April, yeah,” he said. “At the worst, maybe sometime in June, or something like that, but we’re hoping April.”

Moore also told News13 in October that SCDOT was working to see how much the contractor could be fined for delays. 

News13 reached out to SCDOT Tuesday afternoon and hasn’t received a response on the status of the projects. 

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