MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – One of the busiest roads in the Grand Strand is getting a lot of attention. Construction workers have taken over 3rd Ave South in Myrtle Beach and a major widening project is underway.
Travis Parker, an engineer with the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) who is overseeing the project, says about 5 to 10 percent of the road work is complete. The construction to widen and improve 3rd Ave. is happening between Hwy 501 and King Hwy. It's a three-year-long, multimillion dollar project funded by SCDOT. They're making improvements to the pavement, traffic signals and storm drainage, and adding new sidewalks and bike lanes.
Parker says they haven't run into any major problems so far and they will continue to keep at least one lane of traffic moving at all times. Some locals, however, are worried about all of the extra drivers on the road during the summer.
"With that many more people on the roads, it's definitely going to cause a major snarl," said Howard Harris, who drives along 3rd Ave. South every weekday get to his favorite breakfast spot.
Parker says if traffic gets too heavy, they may switch to overnight construction.
Right now the bulk of construction is happening at the intersection of Hwy 15, right next to C&G Auto.
"We're completed encapsulated in construction right now. Hopefully when it gets past us, it'll be better. It's been kind of a mess," said Barry Abrams, who runs the auto shop.
According to Parker, it will take at least another two and a half years to wrap up the project. In the meantime, the contractor will work closely with area businesses to keep access open to all of the local shops and restaurants.