Construction for 'complete streets' begins in Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Construction for complete streets in Myrtle Beach are set to begin. City leaders say the roads are about safety. The goal of this project is to make Ocean Boulevard easy for cars, bikers, and people to get where they need to go all at the same time.To achieve that, the city has spent years making the road a complete street. The final phase of the project starts on Monday.A "complete street" means a road has basically everything you can ask for: crosswalks, sidewalks, new pavement, street lighting and landscaping.The upgrades are going on Ocean Boulevard between 2nd and 9th Avenues North, which is the last section of the road that still needs the improvements. Road crews will start by working on the water and sewage lines once traffic control signs go up at the start of the week.Two lanes of Ocean Boulevard will stay open the entire duration of the project. Crews will work block by block until the project is finished in 2017.Also included in the upgrades are plans to move all the utility lines underground. It's costly and takes time, but doing this can also save the city and taxpayers in the long run because the lines won't be knocked down during bad weather.Despite growing pains with construction, the people who live and work in the area say the road needs improvement, especially after seeing what the final beautification project on Kings Highway did for the area.Another street preparing to become a complete street is Seaboard Street.Bobby Lanz, business owner, said he is looking forward to the upgrades."Seaboard street is the busiest road in Myrtle Beach in my eyes year round." Lanz operates Elite Ink Tattoos, which sits right off two-lane Seaboard Street.The busiest part of the road runs between Highway 501 and Mr. Joe White Avenue.On any given day, you can see long lines of traffic at each end of this part of Seaboard Street. Not just cars, but large delivery trucks pass through to do business on the small road.To accommodate the large volume of traffic, the city plans to upgrade the road to include improvements, equal to a complete street. such as new paving, sidewalks, landscaping and lighting.The city engineer told WMBF News the goal is to start work on Seaboard Street  sometime in the fall of 2015 or winter of 2016.Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.