International Drive hits roadblock before construction

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – On one end, it's a busy and bustling highway, but on the other end of International Drive, it's quiet, but people who live nearby say it's time the road was completed.

"We opened five years ago, and then we were told International Drive would open up," said Phyllis McGowan at Knit 'n Purl. "It would make it easier to get to Conway. I live in Conway, and having another way to get to work would be easier for me."

Horry County is ready to connect the road to Highway 90, but the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says they can't until they've mitigated wetlands around the construction site. Mitigating wetlands entails purchasing and protecting a parcel of wetlands near the construction site, to make up for the wetlands that would be impacted by construction.

Horry County Engineer Andy Markunas says the whole area behind International Drive is essentially one big wetland, so they're working on submitting applications to get started on the mitigation process. But some neighbors in the Carolina Forest area are scratching their heads, saying if the plans for construction have been in place for so long, why are wetlands being brought up now?

"They keep saying things are being put off," said Faith Dulaney at Sunny Cleaners. "But something's got to go, because we've got too many cars for the amount of road we have."

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