Myrtle Beach roads endured busiest travel season since 2018, creating greater need for repairs

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach roads endured the busiest travel season since 2018. The National Transportation Research Nonprofit (TRIP) fears driver’s safety is at risk unless funding is used to make critical infrastructure repairs.

TRIP reports 24% of major roads in Myrtle Beach are in poor condition, while 29% are in mediocre condition. Advocates believe critical repairs will not only impact individual drivers but economic growth.

“This is something that’s not getting any better and it’s only going to get worse,” Jennifer Patterson, executive director of South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads, said.

That group was among others addressing transportation needs in South Carolina on a Zoom meeting Wednesday morning.

“The South Carolina Department of Transportation finds that it’s still has a $403 million annual shortfall in the amount that’s needed to maintain the state’s roads and bridges,” Rocky Moretti, director of policy & research with TRIP said.

Groups said roads are the backbone of the state’s economic growth and increased congestion is costing small businesses who depend on deliveries.

The groups acknowledged the state’s progress in road repair since state legislatures passed Act 40, a 10-year infrastructure plan initiated in 2017.

With the state currently sitting halfway through the plan, groups are depending on the passing of president Biden’s infrastructure deal.

“And a long-term reauthorization of the Federal Surface Transportation program. That would be the critical next step in addressing South Carolina’s transportation needs,” Moretti said.

With the expected growth in the Myrtle Beach area, Councilman Gregg Smith road improvements are a priority each year.

“We work with the county, with CTC funds and the State DOT about which roads are going to get repaved next,” Smith said.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation agreed with advocacy groups and is urging Congress to pass Biden’s infrastructure deal. The agency said in a statement Wednesday, that passing the deal along with funds from the American Rescue Plan will “improve more of South Carolina’s roads and bridges more quickly…”.

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