MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - One of the entrances to Coastal Grand Mall is the number one priority of city engineer Patrick Sadek because it is one of the highest intersections for car accidents in Myrtle Beach.
But now the new light at the corner of Oak Forest Lane and Pine Island Road that has been fully operational since last Tuesday is expected to reduce the number of accidents.
After three years of studying traffic trends, Sadek was determined that the highly traveled intersection needed a light to prevent future accidents.
Some concerns about the new light were that it would back up traffic on Highway 17 Bypass. Sadek said over the busy weekend there were some back up issues but he expects that to be a once per year occurrence. The light currently works independently but if needed, Sadek said he will work with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to allow the timing of both lights to be in sync.
"It's not coordinated with the bypass intersection. There is no need for that. It's working well," Sadek said. "If we feel that we're having some congestions then we meet with SCDOT and we try to coordinate the two intersections. And they're willing to provide us with more green time if we need to. But at this time we don't need it so we'll keep it as is."
"We made it first on our list. It's highly traveled, high accidents, and we receive many complaints. We take those calls very seriously. So we compiled all the data and explored the intersection. There was definitely a need," Sadek said.
Sadek had a goal to have the light up before Black Friday because of the levels of travel that intersection would see.
Sadek said this is the most used entrance to the mall.
"It will reduce accidents and make it a smooth operation for whoever is accessing that mall entrance," Sadek said.