MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) – A busy South Strand intersection is expected to get a major upgrade to reduce traffic congestion.

Traffic backing up during rush hour can be common on Tournament Boulevard all the way to U.S. Highway 17 Bypass.

“We’ve got this problem because there’s only two lanes there and cars are coming and use that a lot,” said Jef Sturm, who used to live near Tournament Boulevard, but now lives in Pawleys Island. “There are new houses over on the other side. I can’t imagine what would happen, this time of the day, if there’s a house on fire.”

It’s because Tournament’s intersection with McDowell Shortcut Road only has two lanes and four-way stop signs. With several newer neighborhoods in the area, the state Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is looking for some significant improvements for the intersection.

A map of the upgrades proposed for the intersection of Tournament Boulevard and McDowell Shortcut Road. (Courtesy: SCDOT)

“It’s not working real good,” said Sturm. “As I look at it here, this is an every night occurrence, at least [on a] work day.”

SCDOT proposes adding a traffic light and left-hand turn lanes at the Tournament-McDowell Shortcut intersection, as well as an extra lane in each direction for traffic turning on to Tournament Boulevard. There would also be a right-hand turn lane from Tournament on to 17 Bypass at that intersection.

Construction could begin as soon as spring of 2022.

“I had heard they were talking about a roundabout at one time that might keep the traffic moving, but I have no idea,” Sturm said. “That sounds like it might be a Band-Aid, but you never know.”

You can click here to submit comments to the SCDOT about the project until Dec. 15.