MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - County leaders are taking their Glenn's Bay Road Widening and Interchange project into one local community. The Lakes Community is in the middle of the two-part project.
At the Lakes Community, there is only one way in and one way out.
The entrance is located right off of Highway Bypass 17 on the south bound side. Less than a half quarter of a mile down is Holmestown and Glenn's Bay, which has grown to be one of the busiest intersections in the area,
County leaders say there are not only plans to move the sole entrance, they plan on adding another.
Driving in and out of the Lakes Community, drivers say there are two major issues. They say traffic backs up into the community while each driver takes their chances.
"It's packed. You have to wait a full light and that's a long light, but that's the only way we can get out. When the traffic stops, everybody shoots out, makes that quick left," Pat Keelan explained. Keelan has lived in the Lakes Community for more than 18 years. He explained he's watched the intersection and traffic get worse.
Keelan is also the Director on the Lakes' Board of Directors, a member of Horry County's Zoning Board of Appeals, and a member of the Ride III Committee. He believes the intersection is the killer.
"You come out here, and go across. and that's where the traffic backs up. Bad now, it's up to the light, and all the way back here," Keelan explained.
Residents say it can take them 15 minutes to get out of their own neighborhood, depending on the time of day, only to reach a standstill on the other side.
"If you want to go south you only have that right turn, but it really is unsafe - that one turn we have to go north because you could possible have three cars sitting there whenever you're turning," Katelyn Funderburk said. Funderburk has lived in the neighborhood her entire life and is looking forward to change.
"The Glenn's Bay Widening Project calls for two changes to the Lakes community. For those looking to go north, there will be a new entrance.
"We're going to have a straight shot out to Holmestown Road," Keelan said. Keelan believes the second entrance will be done by the end of the summer.
As for the original entrance, Keelan explained it will be moving about 800 feet south and it will be a right in and a right out only, which means no more cross over. Instead, County leaders are planning for an overpass over 17 Bypass with four ramps, similar to what currently stands where Highway 544 meets the Bypass.
Keelan believes this is the best answer and will give the area the constant flow they've been hoping for.
Though it will be inconvenient for some, Keelan is excited to see the construction starting and believes once the second entrance is added here, everyone will agree it will all be worth the wait.