HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Work on the backgate intersection is set to wrap up sometime in November and soon after the completion of that project SCDOT could start studying another busy intersection not far from the backgate.
That is where Palmetto Pointe Boulevard meets 17 Bypass. Many drivers told WMBF News the intersection is not only one of the busiest but also one of the worst in the area.
Engineers will study this intersection for about six to eight weeks to look at everything from traffic, to light cycles, and accidents.
Then they will decide if anything needs to change.
Many of drivers will tell you something needs to change to help with traffic especially when it comes to the crowded and sometimes confusing frontage roads that dump into the wide intersection.
"It's the 10 ways of traffic that's the biggest problem," said business owner Jeremy Halpin.
Halpin runs Hamburger International which sits right in the middle of one of the busiest parts of the intersection. Halpin does not think anything is going to improve once the backgate overpass opens.
In fact, he believes the county got it wrong years go. Halpin said the new overpass should actually be over Palmetto Pointe Boulevard and Highway 17.
"If they wanted to originally going back to six years ago and say we are going to put the overpass at the Palmetto Pointe intersection instead of at 707 that would have been one thing," Halpin added. "But there's really nothing they can do there's so many businesses here."
SCDOT told WMBF News prior to backgate construction the only concerns about the future of the Palmetto Pointe Boulevard area came from those who live off the road who wanted to make sure they would still be able to get on and off the 17 Bypass safely in the future.
Horry County said the backgate project has helped by installing dual turn lanes on Highway 17 and the Temperance Connector for anyone to use.
SCDOT said typically what happens is engineers will make the improvements on their own if the intersection's problems are a quick fix.
If it is going to cost a lot of money and take time SCDOT may have to work with the county to come up with the funding.