3 Horry County schools get summer construction for new pick-up lanes

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Three Horry County Schools will soon undergo construction for new pick-up and drop-off lanes to ease serious traffic during busy times.

The three schools are: Seaside Elementary in Garden City, Daisy Elementary in Loris and St. James High in Myrtle Beach.

One part of the issue is traffic overflows onto roadways because there aren't enough lanes for car riders, due to not having enough distance from the school to the highway.

St. James High is one school dealing with major traffic problems.  In addition to the Highway 707 widening project, 60 percent of St. James High students are eligible drivers. Traffic piles up quickly around this area at the start of the day and when school lets out.

The school district says the three schools have the most serious traffic issues in the county because they are all right beside major highways.

Seaside Elementary has the longest history of requests to have something done to tackle the traffic problem. SCDOT refuses to put in a traffic light, so this is the district's last effort to request funding from the county.

It's frustrating for parents who wait in the traffic, and can be dangerous when cars are bumper-to-bumper and trying to turn onto main roads without traffic lights. So Horry County Schools is spending more than $500,000 at each school to add the new lanes.

St. James High principal Vann Pennell says the problem has been around as long as he remembers, "This is my fifth year, and it's been here. But they've said it's been here since the school has been here. I think it's once again an issue that's been out there. And over time, the beach area growing, and our school population, it's just progressed throughout the years."

Mark Wolfe, the Executive Director of Facilities with Horry County Schools says construction will take place over summer break and should be mostly complete in time for school opening in August.

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