HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A farmer in Little River is concerned about what the plans to extend Highway 31 could do to her and her family.

Sallie Lun was digging up carrots Thursday at Indigo Farms in Little River.

While the carrots were popping up, Lun was worried about something else that’s been popping up around the farm this week — stakes and markers that serve as reminders of the plans for the Highway 31 extension that may extend into their farm that’s been in the family for more than four generations.

“We look forward to one day having a younger generation to come on board as well,” Lun said.

But with the Highway 31 extension, the farm could be in jeopardy.

Right now, the Highway 31 extension is the lowest-priority project in Horry County’s Ride 3 transportation program, which funds road-improvement projects through a voter-approved penny sales taxes collected over the course of several years. The tax expires on April 30, 2025, and Horry County leaders have already laid the groundwork for RIDE 4.

Wayne Gray, chair of the Ride 4 sales tax advisory committee, said if there’s a funding shortfall, the project will get top priority for Ride 4 funding. Members passed a motion for that last week.

“The North Carolina DOT is probably going to fund an extension from I-31 from the state line into 74 and eventually I-40,” Chairman Al Allen said. “If we could get that extension from 31 to 74, we would have interstate connectivity all the way back to Rockingham to I-73 and all the way up through West Virginia.”

Not everyone is on board with the project.

“We have families for years and years coming [to Indigo Farms] just for what we grow here,” Indigo Farms employee Kerry McCaffrey said. “And to take that away from them. It’s much cheaper to come here than it is for the food store, or anywhere for that matter.”

Lun said not only could this project cost them their farm and their produce, but it would also impact the wildlife and the wetlands in the area.

“I always knew it as the Indigo Run, which is a natural watershed that carries water from almost the coast to the Waccamaw River,” Lun said. “It is teeming with wildlife — dragonflies that help eat mosquitoes.”

Lun said it would also impact the community.

“We have pick your own strawberries in the spring, and the community has loved being able to come out and pick their own food,” she said. “And pick it the way they want it and take it home and eat it. It’s just so gratifying to pick something that’s yours.”

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the South Carolina DOT have yet to announce the total cost of the project or indicate which route could be chosen.

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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.