New construction causes parking issues in downtown Florence - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New construction causes parking issues in downtown Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Major parking and traffic flow changes are happening in downtown Florence because of new construction.

Ground work is well underway for a $6 million parking deck which will double as apartments in downtown Florence.

“We are not very happy about it as owners of businesses here, but we have to go along with it or the city won't grow we want it to,” said Ella Frazier, owner of Ella's Boutique.

Construction on the parking deck is going to take away key parking spaces in downtown Florence for a bit but will add more spaces when it's complete.

“It's going to be a little inconvenient for 12 months 18 months, but the merchants have been very patient and understanding,” said Stephen Wukela, mayor of Florence. “We have worked hard to substitute parking in the meantime.”

Those plans include areas of parking that are all located about one block out of the downtown area.

East Evans Street is now in the process of being turned into a one-way only street.

Additional parking is now located on Evans Street and along North Barody Street.

The PDRTA Bus Transit Station is now operating at the intersection of Irby Street and Darlington Streets, near the Petro gas station.

The county is allowing 52 spaces inside of the County-Complex parking area, to be used for downtown parking until this project wraps up.

Wukela said the building of the new parking deck is needed because so many businesses and other projects are going to require additional parking once they're up and running.

“We've got more and more activity. Med-enroll is going to bring in over 100 employees,” Wukela added. “The health sciences facility is going to have a large number of people. The apartments are going to bring in 100 people who are going to be living downtown.”

“In a year, because we know what the growth is going to be and what we are looking forward to that's one of the main reasons we feel like we can put up with this,” Frazier said. “In another year, Florence is going to be so great and that's what I'm looking forward to.”

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