Earl shines spotlight on SELL project

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Hurricane Earl made its way past the South Carolina coast on Thursday, but the storm is also forcing some to wonder about an evacuation project that remains at a standstill.

The Southern Evacuation Lifeline, or SELL, is a proposed series of roads that could serve as a relief for South Strand roads in the event of a hurricane evacuation. The project, which has been in the works for years, is currently awaiting funding.

The project is expected to cost upwards of $600 million and right now remains unfunded.

"The project is being worked on. It has not been forgotten" Horry County Councilman Al Allen said, whose district includes part of where the road would be built.

According to the SELL website, a feasibility study conducted in 2003 showed the need for traffic relief in the event of a major evacuation.

"The study is also looking at how these alternatives would reduce traffic congestion along existing roadways in the region and improve access for citizens west of the Waccamaw River to areas east of the river in southern Horry County and northern Georgetown County," the website stated.

The SELL Task Force proposed making the routes a toll road to help pay for the project and to allow constant maintainence. In the past, some have raised questions about the environmental impact of the project which could be substantial if developed.

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