HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - At least three major projects remain on the Ride II initiative, not including dirt roads. More than nine miles of Highway 707 are slated to be paved, which will include sidewalks.
The widening of International Drive remains on the list. The county is currently waiting on an environmental permit that is expected some time this year. The hold up is due to environmental concerns. People said they were worried about where the animals would be able to cross the road if there was more free-flowing traffic. DNR was originally requiring the county to put in three bear crossings, which cost a couple million dollars. But DNR retracted that, allowing the county to save some money on the project. Since they're saving that cash, they're hoping to pitch for two and four lanes all the way to Highway 90. Then the number of lanes you will see will depend on how the contractors' bids work out. The construction on International Drive is only expected to take 12 months and could start in early 2015.
In addition, Glenns Bay Road has remained untouched. The county told WMBF News a contract has been awarded, so work could start in late November or early December. Crews must first clear the vegetation and bushes along the route and complete utilities work. Then, late this year, drivers can expect to see road work, which could snarl traffic even more.
County leaders say workers will widen 1.6 miles along Glenns Bay, add sidewalks, and add a small interchange at the 17 Bypass intersection. The construction is expected to take three years along Glenns Bay.
Once those three road projects of Ride II are complete, county leaders will move forward with Ride III. There's an educational meeting on Thursday for Ride III. Committee members will learn about some possible growth areas to watch out for. The committee will be coming up with their top three roads or areas that they think need work, and then create a proposal. That proposal will then go to a county council committee to discuss if it's even feasible. Then a final proposal will go to a vote. The earliest voters could see this on a ballot would be November of 2016.