Holiday drivers seek alternate route to leave Grand Strand

Departing visitors congest roadways

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Traveling in and out of the Grand Strand on Memorial Day weekend can be a hassle, and several factors can play into the frustrations for drivers.

As the holiday draws to close, most tourists are leaving the area all at once. That's due to a combination of hotel check out times and the need to be back at home to get to work tomorrow.

A lot of travelers told Reporter Stephanie Robusto they are trying to make the most out of their vacation by staying through Monday afternoon before hitting the highway.

Adding to the already crowded roads, many GPS units have people heading up Highway 501 to get to Interstate 95. Travelers need to take the time to plan out alternate routes – and while they may be longer routes - they will end up being a shorter travel time.

Starting around 10:30 a.m. beach traffic was trickling out slowly. But by 10:42 a.m. the SC Department of Transportation issued this alert about traffic congestions: US-501 North bound from SC31, Carolina Bays Parkway, John B Singleton Parkway to SC319, Saint John Road, Dodge Drive

Around 11:30 a.m., Kings Highway was starting to back up past 20th Avenue South. And Ocean Boulevard was crawling along at the same pace.

"Stay away from 501 because it's going to be a parking lot trying to get out of here," warns Charity Witt, a Myrtle Beach resident.

If you're looking to get out of town, consider taking Harrelson Boulevard or Robert Grissom Parkway and Highway 31, which from the air looked relatively clear until the ramp to Highway 501.

On Sunday, the SC Department of Public Safety started urging drivers leaving from the North Myrtle Beach area and northern beaches to use Highway 22 as an alternate route as crowds departed the coast.

Many bikers are still considering alternate routes, even if they're longer. But there's one big problem facing motorcycles - there is no air conditioning.

"A lot of times sitting there your bike can overheat, the fan is just pushing out hot air. And the heat from the ground, from the sun, is baking up into your motorcycle," explains Brandon Stackhouse, leaving the beach by bike.

They count on the movement to keep them and their bikes cool. It can cause battery problems with the heat of the bike's battery combining with idling on the heat of the pavement.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.