MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Construction has begun on the first phase of the Harrelson Boulevard Extension Project in Myrtle Beach.
Rick Ott with M.B. Kahn, who is overseeing the construction, says the project will ultimately result in a four-lane roadway with a turn lane and bike lane that will extend to Kings Highway. The completed road will come out at 22nd Ave South at Whispering Pines.
Right now, crews are essentially building a road to build another road.
"The new Harrelson Boulevard will actually come around the front of the airport, which will make the existing entranceway unusable. This temporary entranceway will allow people to still access the airport while the new construction is going on," Andrew Skiles, a project field engineer with Greenwall Construction, explained.
Once completed, the $10 million extension project will give drivers a straight shot through to the south end of Myrtle Beach.
"We very much need this road," City of Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea said. "We've needed this road for 15 years probably. The city built the existing part of Harrelson Boulevard that you see right now and we're excited that it's about to connect from there to Kings Highway."
Kruea says it is the next big road on the horizon for the Myrtle Beach area.
"It's the main door to Myrtle Beach International Airport [and] it will be the main door to the south end of Myrtle Beach," Kruea said. "It really is going to be a great way to get around town and a big improvement in our transportation network."
Not only that, but workers say in the meantime, the project is already having a positive impact on the community.
"It's really [going to] help the economy," Skiles said.
Ott says they have worked hard to bid out as many jobs as possible to local contractors.
"Its great," Skiles said. "Because we're based out of Myrtle Beach, so it allows us to work close to home. It keeps the dollars here and allows us to get a little bit of extra sleep every day."
Ott says bidding for Phase 2, which includes sidewalks and a traffic light, is currently set for Sept. 21. He says the goal for the project's completion is December 2011.