RIDE III committee making road improvement decisions

RIDE III committee making road improvement decisions

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County representatives are making new decisions about how to spend taxpayer dollars to improve the roads in Horry County. The 18-member RIDE III committee met Thursday evening to discuss future road projects for the county.

The committee approved the plan to allocate $75 million of the penny tax money to go towards repavement roads projects.

Eddie Dyer, RIDE III Committee Chair said, "The committee made a final vote to set aside funds for 100 miles of paving dirt roads primarily in the western part of the county and 100 miles of repaving of roads that are already paved but need to be repaved."

Dyer said it will cost an estimated $60 million to pave 100 miles of dirt roads and about $15 million for repaving the other 100 miles of paved streets which are scattered throughout the county.

Now committee members will focus on how to wisely spend what's left of the $540 million in tax money, which is about $465 million.

Members had 31 road projects that stretch all across the county to prioritize. During Thursday's meeting, they discussed the importance of each project and why it should take precedent.

Some of the factors members were looking at for each of the projects was the population growth in the area of the road project, how much will it cost, who and what will be impacted by construction, and are there any other resources for funding.

Dyer said they want to be geographically fair when it comes to choosing these projects, meaning they would like to see all parts of the county have some type of road improvement. "Every geographic part of the county needs some a lot of projects at least one project from this 540 million," he added.

Some of the big projects discussed are Highway 31 expansion project that would extend to the North Carolina state line, widening Highway 501 between Conway and Myrtle Beach, extending Palmetto Pointe Blvd. to Highway 544, widening Highway 17 Business in Surfside Beach, and widening Forestbrook Road.

"I think everyone is going to be looking for their own council district own municipalities to be taken care of at least one project and looking into how that fits into the total package of projects and getting a consensus," explained Dyer.

The 31 road projects add up to nearly $2 billion, that's almost five times more than the budget, so committee members are trying to eliminate some of those projects. They deleted three of the 31 Thursday night; they'll meet again next week to eliminate more.

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