MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The first step in expanding the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is underway, but construction was actually supposed to wrap up at the beginning of May. Three weeks into the month, and there's still a lot of work left to do.
"We wanted the boardwalk to come to us," said Bandito's General Manager Sean Christenson. "We actively pursued it."
Bandito's advertises itself as a cantina on the Boardwalk, but the Boardwalk is actually slow in reaching the restaurant.
Construction crews are hard at work on the project, but according to City of Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Mark Kruea, it was supposed to wrap up in the beginning of May. Issues with the construction materials kept the project from starting on time.
"There have been bumps in the road, but it's construction," Christenson said. "Construction happens that way, but we're excited it's coming to us."
This one block expansion from the Boardwalk's current stopping point at 14th Avenue North is the first phase of a master plan to stretch the Boardwalk from around 31st Avenue North all the way to 28th Avenue South. Several businesses that aim to benefit from the expansion are already anticipating it's construction.
"It would help everybody immensely down here," said Dale Brand, a bartender at McAdoo's on Third Avenue South. Brand says the bar gets a lot of local hotel patrons, but because there's little parking near the bar, and it isn't clearly visible from the street, the prospect of more foot traffic is exciting.
"A lot of people, the come to the pier and they don't realize there's any more down here," he said.
But some business owners that could benefit from the expansion are scratching their heads at a rumor that, if they want the Boardwalk to come to them, they've got to pay for its construction.
City spokesperson Mark Kruea says Myrtle Beach is seeking sponsorships by businesses in the area for the expansion, but says this could be in the form of several small donations from businesses all along Ocean Boulevard, or could even simply be one big sponsorship by a large company.
Brand says there may be some hesitation by "Mom and Pop" operations, but says overall the investment is worth it.
"It would benefit everybody in the long run," he said.