3rd Ave. South to get long overdue upgrades - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

3rd Ave. South to get long overdue upgrades

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A major road project is underway on one busy Grand Strand avenue. Millions of dollars will fund the new 3rd Ave South widening project in Myrtle Beach.

Construction will cover the stretch of road between Hwy 501 and 17 Business. According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), this project will help alleviate heavy traffic congestion. The project calls for installing a new left turn lane to six of the intersections along with some upgrades. There will be improvements to the road pavement, traffic signals and storm drainage and the additions of new sidewalks and bike lanes.

According to Travis Patrick with SCDOT, 3rd Ave South has been a priority for the department for several years, especially since the road is also part of the hurricane evacuation route. SCDOT is spending $8 million on the construction project and the City of Myrtle Beach is pumping about $2 million to cover the cost of underground utility work.

"This will be a complete makeover when that piece of 3rd avenue from 501 to Kings Highway. It will look like a brand new road," said city spokesperson Mark Kruea about the project.

Patrick says there is  a lot of underground utility work involved with the project. It has to be done in carefully planned stages so there are no interruptions to the city's utility lines. At least one lane will always remain open throughout construction, however, officials warn there will likely be delays and recommend using an alternate route.

Several business owners in the area tell WMBF news they won't mind the temporary construction interruption.

"We got a letter as business owners stating they will always have one lane open and try to work with us the best they could. So I'm not worried. I think it's much needed. I'm happy to see it come," says Rick Walls, owner of a print shop on 3rd Ave South.

Starting this fall, the city plans to upgrade 3rd Ave South east of 17 Business. According to Kruea, it'll happen between 17 Business and Ocean Boulevard where they will add things like new streetscapes and sidewalks to improve the overall look.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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