HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Road projects are being delayed left and right. First the Backgate and now Enterprise Road, and this time, it's not because of weather.
Work on Enterprise Road to build a bridge as part of the Highway 31 extension was expected to shut down a portion of the road in August, but now it will be several more months before that part of the project starts.
Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier says it's unavoidable that the road closure will happen, it's just still up in the air about exactly when. The contractor for the project is in charge of the timeline, and cannot begin building on Enterprise Road until more progress is made on the work at the Intracostal Waterway Bridge.
Closing Enterprise Road means blocking the route to get materials to that construction. Bourcier says an exact date will be decided around the first of next year, and once barriers go up on Enterprise Road, they will stay up for a nine months.
To get to the Osprey Marina and Waccatee Zoo, you have to drive on Enterprise Road. When a portion of the road closes, you will still be able to access their businesses; it just might take you quite a bit longer to get there.
Now that the road closure has been delayed, you're free to drive on Enterprise Road for the rest of the year, but next year this will change, a change and road closure still worries the Waccatee Zoo about their fate.
Since it is postponed from August to next year, the work will cut through the busiest time of year. Summer at the zoo is with no surprise, the best time for business. The owner of the family owned zoo says he doesn't understand why they can build Backgate bridge without daytime closures, but the county has to completely shut down a portion of the road to the zoo.
For businesses along Enterprise Road, a closure like this is not a first. A few years back the road was closed to work on the Mill Creek bridge.
Osprey Marina saw the impact in business then, but is taking the optimistic approach for what's to come.
"Once the roads completed, it is gonna be a plus for the county, and they just have to get through it and look through it and realize if their destination is Osprey Marina its worth coming," Miles Worrell with the Osprey Marina and Grill said.
Although it may not be decided until the first of the year when the road will be closed, the county says the entire Highway 31 extension will still end on time.