Backgate construction hurting some local businesses

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Tenants in one shopping center near the Backgate say the overpass project cut off an entrance to their shops and is responsible for a downward slide in business.

The shopping center is on the southeast edge of the intersection and used to be connected to 17 Bypass by Emory Road. That connection does not exist anymore and shop owners say the only remaining entrance, which is on the far side of their center, is confusing for drivers to navigate.

Owners say that confusion had led some potential customers to turn elsewhere.

"We had a couple of good months leading up to it, but after July 4th when the shovels really started swinging it seemed like everything just dropped off. It has slowed down quite a bit," said Matthew Cox, CECO Electronics store manager.

The owner of Pronto Press agrees, telling WMBF News his business has declined since construction too.

State Department of Transportation officials say the plans for the construction project have been public for some time and there shouldn't have been any surprises for anyone.

DOT officials say the Withers Connector will be finished in January and that will allow customers to access the center another way. The new road will connect Farrow Parkway to the bypass via the frontage road on the east side.

Business owners are hoping they can survive that long. They think something needs to be done in the meantime.

"They should put up a sign directing anyone that comes this way to access our road via Shetland Lane. Maybe that would help," said Cox.

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