Committee determines how RIDE III projects will be ranked - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Committee determines how RIDE III projects will be ranked

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Committee members decided how proposed projects for RIDE III will be scored at a meeting Thursday.

Three models of evaluation were proposed by staff: the way Horry County government, Grand Strand Area Transportation Study committee

and the SCDOT score road projects.

Members voted to adopt an algorithm of all three, said Bo Ives, RIDE III committee member.

The projects will be scored with many factors in mind, including cost and the number of projects within a district.

“RIDE II has a lot of south end projects,” said Ives.

There are 105 projects on RIDE II still undone, Ives said.

The scoring method used by the committee gives more value [to projects] that have been rated by RIDE II, instead of first-time proposals.

However, there is a ‘safety valve' set in place by the committee for newly proposed projects to score higher, if the project is merited, according to Ives.

Other presentations from the agenda included: emergency evacuation routes, growth in Little River and the value of bike paths.

Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster presented possible options to improving evacuation times.

Three solutions: new roads, widen existing roads and implement change to the bottleneck areas.

We need new roads to handle the capacity. “Widen two-lane roads to four lanes, expand four lanes to six lanes, and so forth,” Webster suggested.

In bottleneck areas along evacuation routes, like Highway 501, build overpasses to alleviate the congestion, he added.

The growth in Little River affecting Highway 57 was addressed by David Schwerd with Horry County Planning & Zoning.

CCU Professor Dr. Sharon Thompson proved bike paths compliment property values with studies.

Thompson presented a 2013 poll showing 80 percent of more than 1,000 residents said Horry County was under structured and wanted to see more bike paths.

RIDE III members are scheduled to meet again in January to discuss proposed projects from each district.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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