707 widening too close for homeowners' comfort

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Construction is progressing on the Highway 707 widening project, but some homeowners and business owners on the road are afraid it's too close to home.

"It's basically going up people's yard," said Nixal Patel, at the 707 Mini Mart. "Some of the places I've seen, you can see people's bedrooms from where you drive."

Patel's business is just far enough back on Highway 707 that his parking lot isn't being affected, but many other businesses and homes are losing part of their property to the widening project, which was understood from the beginning of the project.

But some homeowners are now expressing concerns over how close crews are getting, as well as how exposed their homes are to the road.

"I don't think we're going to have as much back yard," said Mike Ross, who lives in the Park West subdivision.

A berm running behind Ross's yard keeps out noise and prevents out of control cars from careening into his back yard. Now, the berms are being torn down for the project, and the replacement wall won't be up for another two years.

"I'm not that enthused about it," Ross said.

Ross is mainly concerned with the dirt and noise from construction, but says his neighbor is more worried about the potential of a car crash in his back yard, because they've had issues with drunk drivers before.

SCDOT Communications Director Pete Poore said the department does evaluate safety concerns, and would look into issues at that particular stretch of the project.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.