Looking ahead to Memorial Day task force meeting

Looking ahead to Memorial Day task force meeting

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – City and county leaders will meet as a task force Monday to tackle the many issues regarding Memorial Day weekend.

Myrtle Beach City manager Tom Leath says one of those issues is a centralized check in for officers from around the state. Hundreds of officers from cities all around South Carolina come to the Grand Strand every year to help patrol Bikefest and Memorial Day weekend.

Leath says the centralized check in point is proposed on the CCU campus and the county will run it. There, officers will be able to check in, get their room assignments, and learn the area.

The most debated issue the task force will talk about is Myrtle Beach's proposed 40 mile traffic loop.

The proposed loop plans to bring traffic south to Highway 544, then up to Highway 31, where it will be funneled north to Highway 22 and back into Myrtle Beach. Traffic can get back to Ocean Boulevard at 29th Avenue North.

The county has told the city it doesn't support this plan, and at the Coastal Alliance meeting, county councilman Mark Lazarus talked about the potential problems that could arise.

"We start spreading people into areas that they're not familiar with, haven't been to, aren't used to, maybe their hotel rooms aren't in that area, where they're staying, where their friends are, they get lost and other things could happen," Lazarus said.

Other cities around the county have also complained about the loop. Surfside Beach and North Myrtle Beach worry the loop will push Myrtle Beach's problems into their streets.

"We certainly would not divert our traffic into another city and we don't expect another city to divert their traffic onto us. We all have our own traffic issues already," North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley explained.

Tom Leath says the task force will talk about a smaller loop that uses Harrelson Boulevard instead of 544. He says ultimately, the city needs the county and other cities to be behind them for the plan to work.

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