Barricade raises concerns of safe access to Highway 17 Bypass fo - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Barricade raises concerns of safe access to Highway 17 Bypass for neighborhood

 HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Some people who live in Deerfield Links said they don't have a safe way to get onto Highway 17 Bypass without the use of a shortcut through a parking lot that is now blocked off, but the reasoning behind the barricade is safety.

For years, drivers were allowed to turn onto an access road to a parking lot next to Blue Cross Blue Shield. That would then bring them to the traffic light at Queens Harbour Boulevard and Highway 17 Bypass, which drivers said is a safer alternative than turning left from Deerfield Links Drive without a light. 

"I almost wrecked myself pulling out there," John Dye said about the Deerfield Links Drive intersection. "Someone coming from across the street the same time I was trying to go across. Everybody's trying to get out."

Around Memorial Day, people said they saw "Road Closed" signs posted at the access road followed by stone slabs placed between the signs the following day. The area has stayed blocked off since then.

"We no longer have this luxury of going through here to use the stoplight to actually take a left and not have to push yourself out into traffic with everybody coming from the two car dealerships and everybody coming from the North End," said Allison Boykin, who lives in Deerfield Links.

Boykin and other drivers said they're nervous making the left-hand turn in and out of Deerfield Links Drive now from Highway 17 Bypass.

"Especially coming into the summer season when you have a lot more traffic, it's going to be a nightmare to not only get out onto 17, but to cross 17 to get home," said Tom Porter, who also lives in Deerfield Links.

South End Investors put up the barricade to prevent people from using the shortcut because South End Investors Owner Nelson Hardwick said he had received complaints about employees having to run out of the way of cars in the parking lot. He said they were at risk of getting hit because speed bumps weren't stopping drivers from speeding. He said he didn't want to put their safety in jeopardy, so he put up the barrier.

The homeowners association for Deerfield Links has met with a South End Investors agent to work out some kind of compromise, but right now, the barriers are staying up as is, HOA President Roy Pedersen said.

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