NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Starting Monday, the City of North Myrtle Beach is starting a new road construction project.
City leaders say it shouldn't impact road traffic at all. Construction is going to be on 1st Avenue South, and it's not very heavily trafficked normally. The construction is not to improve the flow of traffic, but safety for pedestrians.
The city says people like to walk to the library or the Farmer's Market. But along 1st Avenue South, there aren't any sidewalks or crosswalks, just the road and the grassy space beside it, so safety is a concern. Starting Monday, crews will start construction to build sidewalks, crosswalks and curbing between Highway 17 and Bay Street. The project will cost a total of $50,000, with $40,000 coming from the SCDOT and $10,000 from the city.
The city says it does sidewalk projects every year to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. This project in particular is important because of how popular the Farmer's Market has grown.
"You don't want to mix cars and pedestrians," says Tom Barstow, Fire Chief for the City of North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department."So, if you can get the pedestrians to walk on the sidewalk, which the city is going to be building here, it'll be just much safer. You know, people will be walking up the street here from the stores up there and people parking in the parking lot beside us here. And it just makes it more safe and easy for them to get to the market."
Motorists will still be able to drive on 1st Avenue North, but should still expect to deal with the construction.
The project will last about two months, and it's the middle of summer time right now so some may not think it was wise to start a road construction project.
But the city says it shouldn't affect traffic too much, because it's a secondary road.