Plans for a fence along S.C. 544 causing concern for business owners

Plans for a fence along S.C. 544 causing concern for business owners

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University leaders are hoping to have a new fence built in the median of Highway 544 from Founders Drive to Cox Ferry Road in order to increase safety for students walking to campus.

Some business owners nearby, though, feel the plans for the fence aren’t necessary.

The purpose of the fence is to essentially force students to use the crosswalk at Highway 544 and Founders Drive instead of walking across Highway 544 in other places.

Rusty Elvington is the co-owner of ACE University Bookstore. He says a fence isn’t necessary.

“They could’ve reduced the speed limit, increased signage, made some flashing lights,” Elvington said. “[There are] a lot of other cheaper alternatives than building this $1.2 million fence.”

Jerry Evans just opened a new restaurant called Brody’s at the corner of Highway 544 and Cox Ferry Road. He also doesn’t like the idea of the fence.

“It ain’t a very good idea I don’t think,” Evans said.

Evans is worried about the traffic confusion it could cause.

“It might be harder to get in and out than it already is because it’s pretty hard to get in and out,” he said.

Elvington says he believes this wouldn’t be a problem if students just used the crosswalk, to begin with.

“You’re an adult, but you can’t cross the road,” Elvington said. “That’s just a little sad too.”

Public comment for SCDOT closes Wednesday evening.

You can express your concerns here.

You can find a map of the fence here and more details on the project from SCDOT here.

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