MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many people are more than pleased with the new overpass at the Backgate intersection in Myrtle Beach. It's the changes at the intersection at the very end of the overpass, where 17 Bypass intersects Tabernacle Drive on one side and Palmetto Pointe Boulevard on the other, that people don't think helped traffic and congestion.
Drivers say the Tabernacle Drive side is a serious issue. Work on the Backgate came with new lights at the intersection, a new turning lane, and new road paint. The problem, for both sides, is the traffic that backs up waiting for the light. But the people who need to turn, can't get to it.
"Somebody will get a green light, a green arrow to turn left, but the arrow light hasn't changed and so both of the lanes are blocked and you can't turn left," says Lauri Doss, who works for the owners of Palmetto 17. "And that's what causes the congestion and the back up."
As a result, Doss says the traffic line won't move, and drivers get confused and block the road. "People are pulled up here because they're not sure what they're supposed to do and there are lines backed up both Frontage Road's and this street over here. So people go ahead and pull into the intersection because they don't want to miss their turn, or they feel like they should be next, and then the cars that are turning in, can't come in through the intersection."
According to Doss, one of the owners of Palmetto 17 has talked with SCDOT about the problems outside the restaurant affecting business. "While they were out here working on the lights.He actually spoke to them then and told them it was a mess."
All the confusion outside has customers complaining about how difficult it is to get into the parking lot from the Bypass. Doss says she thinks the problem started when construction on the Backgate started, and it really hasn't improved.
For people who can help to come see what it's like when traffic peaks, at lunchtime and rush hour. "I definitely think somebody from the Department of Transportation needs to come down here. take a couple of days and just see exactly what they've created. It's a nightmare."