North Myrtle Beach to widen Ocean Blvd., move wires underground - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

North Myrtle Beach to widen Ocean Blvd., move wires underground

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A Google Map Street View image of 15th Ave. South at Ocean Blvd., where the widening project is expected to start. A Google Map Street View image of 15th Ave. South at Ocean Blvd., where the widening project is expected to start.

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The City of North Myrtle Beach is moving forward with plans to widen Ocean Boulevard, and move power and communications underground in the Crescent Beach section of the city.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation will fund the estimated $3.5 million project to widen Ocean Boulevard between 15th Avenue South and 28th Avenue South, according to a news release from the city. Specifically, the project would widen about 0.8 miles of two-lane road along Ocean Boulevard, add and replace sidewalks, install crosswalks, and install drainage.

The city delayed the project in part because of the planned underground conversion project. "It did not make good economic sense for the City to accomplish the underground conversion project, only to have the road torn up again for the construction of the SCDOT road widening project," city officials stated.

The conversion project, funded by the City and Santee Cooper, would begin in the fall or winter of 2014. Construction on the SCDOT widening project would begin in the fall or winter of 2015, with both project completed by the fall or winter of 2016, according to the release.

The total estimated cost of the widening project $3.5 million. The underground conversion project is expected to cost about $3 million. The SCDOT now qualifies as a Local Public Agency to fund the widening project.

"The good news is that through the LPA process the City will be able to obtain local control over the scheduling and management of the SCDOT road widening project," Blayton said. "Until now, the City has had to wait until SCDOT found the time and resources that would enable the agency to act. However, if funding occurs as is now projected, and if we qualify as a LPA, we will be able to complete this project. That's a win-win situation."

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