MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Construction on the fifth and final phase of a 90-day, multi-million dollar project is kicking off in Myrtle Beach. This means more traffic on Highway 17 near Restaurant Row as work crews prepare to start working.
The city has been working for five years on the project, the last leg of which will commence in a few days. The city is placing a sewer force main replacement underneath Highway 17.
This is where drivers will be affected: the work is being completed on the stretch between the Highway 17 and Kings Highway split all the way up to Chestnut Road near the Tanger Outlets. The speed limit both ways is dropping to 35 miles-per-hour.
That's not all. The median will remain closed the whole 90 days. Northbound traffic on Hwy. 17 will not be affected, but will still see the reduced speed limit.
City of Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea says you may remember similar work being done in the last few years, but this year is a bit different. "The difference between this and the projects we've done the last four years is this will be around the clock. Previously we've opened it up in the mornings and closed it at night, but this time it's going to be around the clock."
Kruea says the bulk of the work should be done at night, so don't anticipate the construction to get in the way too much, but the lane narrowing and reduced speed limits could be a problem.
Restaurant row contains many businesses and restaurants, and Kruea says access to those shouldn't be affected, even with the restricted lanes and medians.
"It's not affecting anybody sewer-wise, and we will maintain access to the businesses. There will be cut-through's throughout he construction so that you can get through one side of Highway 17 to the business on the other side."