Ride III moving forward; Ride II not finished

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Men and women from around Horry County filled a lecture hall at Coastal Carolina University Thursday night for the first of many Ride III committee meetings.  The group will follow the footsteps of Ride II; looking to introduce a penny sales tax to improve roads all over the county.

Right now, Ride II is only 44 percent complete.

"I hope they're organized," said Joe Reinhardt, owner of Carolina Limousine.

Reinhardt's business is right in the middle of the Highway 707 Widening Project, which is one of the 15 projects prioritized by Ride II. It's also one of the ten projects that are not yet completed.

Although the Ride III tax will be voted on in 2016, Highway 707 won't be finished until the 2017.

While Reinhardt hopes the project gets done earlier and hopes the county doesn't get ahead of itself, he is happy to see Horry County being progressive. 

"The good part is that we're not gonna take small steps, so that 5 years from now we have to make more changes," said Reinhardt.  "They're being progressive with it."

Ride III's committee will prioritize new road projects over the next two years and let the county vote on the penny sales tax in the 2016 general election.

Not all Ride II projects will be finished, but former chairman says the two year window between then and now will show taxpayers where their money is going. 

"They need to be able to see that they got their money's worth and I think waiting two years will certainly show the voters they got their money's worth," said Mike Wooten, Chairman of Ride II.

The finished product from Ride II'spenny sales tax will include the Backgate overpass, paving of International Drive, and widening of Glenns Bay Road.

Many other roads were excluded from Ride II, but the committee believes they will create a good starting point for Ride III.

"The leftover projects from Ride II is a good start, it's like the first four chapters in a really good book,"said Wooten." "There may be another 10 or 12 chapters before you finish the book."

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