Prep works starts for Hwy. 707 widening project

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Concrete barriers line up part of the roadway along Highway 707 near the United States Post Office. Once the barriers were spotted, many drivers have been hoping it's a sign for a long awaited road project.

People in the area are actually happy to see some work underway, and they're wondering if these barriers mean the Highway 707 widening project is closer to construction.

"The more and more I looked at it, I thought, 'wow I hope that's the beginning of the new 707 Expansion area which I am definitely for,'" said Joe Belas.

With so many people wondering, WMBF News decided to check and see why we're seeing the barriers line up along part of Highway 707. The Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority (GSWSA) has decided to take the initiative to go ahead and get some of the preliminary work done.

Christie Everett, the GSWSA Chief of Engineering and Construction, says since there is such a large amount of work needed before the major portion of the project starts, they wanted to get a head start.

"Everything that we as a utility can move and relocate out of the DOT contractor's way, will help the process for the entire schedule of the project," explained Everett.

So the GSWSA is taking care of a lot of the surrounding prep work, by moving all the utilities that are in the way. Many people say they're just relieved to see something happening.

"I thought maybe they were going to start it," said Kim Rhyne, who lives off of Highway 707. "And I was hoping. Because it's so terrible to get in and out of here."

"I hope it's a good decision but I was hoping it was the South Carolina Department of Transportation, not the Water Authority," said Belas. "But I'm glad they're taking the steps now."

All the equipment is laid out and ready to go, and the actual work will start up within the next two weeks. The utility work is expected to take at least a few months to complete.

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