MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Coventry Boulevard, the new road leading into Market Common, has now been open over 24 hours. Many residents of the Emmens Preserve community in the past were absolutely against Coventry Boulevard being finished and extended to 17 Bypass because of the traffic. But now that it's open, neighbors have had a change of heart.
"I think it's great," says Debbie Campbell who lives in Emmens Preserve. "It's gonna make access to south, Surfside a lot easier for us." The main benefit, in fact, will be to residents in the community.
"Before we had to go all the way out, all the way down Farrow to that big intersection which that new bypass has helped, but now it's just going to be so easy to go right out and down, it'll cut travel time in half," Campbell added.
The road no longer stops at a dead end; it goes straight from Farrow Parkway to the Bypass across from South Strand Medical Center.
People who live in the community, like Campbell and her friends, were outside Tuesday, walking dogs, riding bikes and jogging with friends, enjoying the multi-use paths added to the neighborhood. "The sidewalk is great, riding bikes, I think it's a great thing," Campbell says. "It's a positive move for the community."
Campbell says many neighbors still have concerns though, traffic being a main one. "People are really worried about traffic, but I think it's just going to kind of disperse traffic."
Another neighbor, the only one who had negative feedback, is worried the four-lane road will be a target for late-night drag races and speeding. He says neighbors are urging police to ramp up presence.
The work on the Boulevard isn't finished yet. The City of Myrtle Beach says there are plans for 25,000 square feet of retail along the road that haven't been built yet.
"It'll make more convenience for us because we'll have stores in our area and we won't have to travel out, especially during tourist season," according to Campbell.
The City of Myrtle Beach says there will be 1,000 new homes built in this area, and that construction has already started.