SC DOT money woes create roadblocks on Kings Highway projects

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- It's one of the main roads to pretty much anywhere in the city. Yet a big portion of Kings Highway hasn't had any type of redesign in years. There were some plans in place for this year, but now it may be a while before you see any changes in the area.

The city of Myrtle Beach is moving forward with the design to improve Kings Highway, but the question is when the plans will hit the pavement. SCDOT's current money situation may stop the progress, as it's reevaluating funding for the project.

The city is drawing up the redesign for the areas from 3rd Avenue South to 8th Avenue North. The plan is to re-vamp the highway by widening the sidewalks, slightly reducing the width of driving lanes, creating medians, and adding more lighting.

These changes are to push in more pedestrian and business traffic, and to make the area safer. Revitalizing Kings Highway could merge into revitalizing the area's development.

"We think that we can freshen the environment," said Ronald Andrews with the city of Myrtle Beach Public Works. "Make it look better. Make it feel better. Hopefully make it more pedestrian friendly. And that would hopefully entice some redevelopment in that particular section." Before construction can start to make these things happen, SCDOT has to give the green light on the plans.

When it comes to intersections on Kings Highway, the city of Myrtle Beach says it's been receiving complaints about the conditions of the intersections along South Kings Highway.

Some drivers say bumpy intersections are forcing them to take the back roads to have a smoother drive. The intersections on South Kings Highway are on SC DOT's resurfacing project list for 2012. But the projects' current spot on the list is being reconsidered, as SCDOT is cutting some of the projects from the budget to help with cash flow.

But the city says it can't afford to wait. So once the weather warms up, you'll likely see construction crews working on a temporary fix- patching up the holes and ditches in certain intersections to even out the road.

Some residents say whether you're on two wheels or four, trying to have a smooth and safe drive down South Kings Highway is a challenge. "As far as riding a moped, I drive vehicles too and it's rough driving a vehicle," said Myrtle Beach resident Ronnie Porter. "You're having to watch out for everybody else and the road pulls you to the left, it pulls you to the right."

When SC DOT gets the money secured to pull through with these projects, then the agency will go back over the city's work, and the intersections will be completely milled and resurfaced.

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