MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The city is working to wrap-up certain construction projects before tourist traffic hits the beach.
The area of 3 Avenue South between Kings Highway and Ocean Boulevard has been closed for months. However, the city is hoping to open that road for drivers within the next few weeks.
"It's an ongoing project, but we try to minimize road closures during the busy season," explains Mark Kruea with the City of Myrtle Beach.
Kruea says while the road is opening soon, construction is not over and they still plan on working on enhancements for the road.
Down the road, construction will continue. Between Kings Hwy and Hwy 501 construction project is a multi-year project. Drivers can expect lane shifts and road closures through the summer of 2015.
"It's a small inconvenience now, but I really think this road is going to turn much more into a destination, and it's really going to help businesses in the area," expresses Rick Mallo with Pat-Mor Salvage.
Pat-Mor Salvage sits right among the construction, but they think it is a small roadblock while the city paves the way into the future.
"It will really change the area. I think it will bring more people here and then businesses will want to spend more money on advertising or painting up their storefronts," says Mallo.
Kruea says both of the projects on 3rd Ave South are on track. But, they're not the only major roadblocks for drivers.
Construction continues near the back gate on U.S. 17 Bypass and Highway 707. Contractors for the interchange project say soon, before summer traffic, southbound lanes will be shifted to different ramps. They will be mirroring the changes already seen on the northbound lanes.
"I understand how these things go, they take time. But, when they're done, everyone is happy," says Mike Viers, who tries to avoid the area as much as possible.
Viers says many locals take shortcuts, like Fred Nash Boulevard, to get around the congestion. He also believes the end result will be worth it.
Other drivers agree, saying they already see progress with the construction project. They believe it is already relieving traffic in the busy area.
"Before the construction, traffic would be backed up all the way to the mall. It was really bad," expresses driver Martha Brunson. She adds, "the turn lane into the Market Common is a great addition. I feel like that's where a lot of the traffic was coming from because the turning lane wasn't long enough."
The contractor is working to move southbound lanes of US 17 to those ramps before early summer.