RIDE III report unveiled at Horry County council meeting - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

RIDE III report unveiled at Horry County council meeting

Eddie Dyer, chairman of RIDE III advisory committee, reviewed meetings and reported information to the council. Eddie Dyer, chairman of RIDE III advisory committee, reviewed meetings and reported information to the council.
RIDE III RIDE III
Mark Lazarus, Horry County council chairman Mark Lazarus, Horry County council chairman

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Reports from the RIDE III project were revealed at the Horry County council meeting Tuesday.

The 31 projects, agreed upon by the 17-member committee, totaled $1.944 billion. The committee said it had $530 million to work with.

Eddie Dyer, chairman of RIDE III advisory committee, reviewed meetings and reported information to the council.

Dyer said the committee met seven times between August 18, 2014 and April 8.

The committee began with a list of 141 projects from RIDE II, GSATS (Grand Strand Area Transportation Study) and member recommendation of the 17 committee members, Dyer said.

Then, the committee whittled the list to 51 projects, before reaching 31 projects.

Potential RIDE III projects

Here are a few of the projects with high priority:

Highway 17 Business intersection improvements 

Cost: $19.8 million

Inlet Square Drive, Atlantic Avenue and Garden City Connector are a part of the project

The project would alleviate traffic year-round.

SEL Southern Evacuation Lifeline

Cost: $25 million

Funding would be used to complete studies and buy land adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway, if the project is set to be completed

The land would be used in the future to build a bridge that will be needed to cross the river.

The lifeline would alleviate emergency traffic and help move people out of the county, in case of an emergency.

Palmetto Pointe Boulevard Extension

Cost: $7.5 million

The project involves parts of the Socastee area, including Big Block Road and Highway 544.

Dyer noted residents in the area have only one way in and out.

Forestbrook Road

Cost: $89.1 million

About 10,000-15,000 residents live along Forestbrook Road, Dyer said. The road is only two lanes wide.

The project would connect Highway 501 to Highway 544.

Realignment of Highway 501

Cost: $13.9 million

Highway 501 dead ends at Broadway and 7th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. The project would extend Highway 501 to Ocean Boulevard. The committee agreed the project would be beneficial for the city of Myrtle Beach and Horry County.

Carolina Forest Boulevard

The project would include a series of intersections with traffic lights and lane widening. The project would alleviate congestion and aggravation for the 15,000 residents in the area.

Highway 501 improvements

Singleton Ridge Road would be extended and Postal Way would connect to create “kind of like a frontage road.”

$15 million would be appropriated to resurface Horry County roads.

Experts weigh in on RIDE III

Dyer said the committee heard from a dozen experts, specializing in finance, environmental concerns, emergency management, transportation and research.

According to Dyer, the 12 experts contributed in the following ways:

Arrigo Carotti, Horry County attorney provided information.

Ann Wright and Barry Spivey made revenue estimates at $530 million.

Mike Wooten, RIDE II chairman, summarized RIDE II and their process.

Steve Gosnell, Assistant County Administrator for Infrastructure and Regulation, and Mike Barbee, of SCDOT, updated the committee on the status of RIDE II.

Mark Hoeweler, Assistant Executive Director of the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments, gave the committee an overview of GSATS.

Janet Carter, department chair of Horry County Planning and Zoning, and David Schwerd gave the committee a rundown of projected growth areas in Horry County.

Dr. Sharon Thompson, of CCU, did a presentation of a bicycling survey.

Randy Webster, Horry County Emergency Management, educated the committee on the impact of road improvement on evacuation time.

David Gilreath, of Horry County Public Works, told the committee about unpaved road soil conditioning and the county's additive pilot program.

Andy Markunas, department chair of Horry County Engineering, explained the Horry County resurfacing program to the committee.

Mike Barbee also gave the committee a rundown of funding sources and options for revenue.

Dr. Holley Tankersley, of CCU, presented to the committee the result of her study of the precinct voting pattern from the 2006 vote on RIDE II, as related to the proximity of RIDE II projects.

What's next?

The next steps in the RIDE III project include forming a 6-person committee, three of whom will be chosen by the League of Cities and three chosen by council.

Then, a proposal will be made to council. Once that proposal comes to council, council cannot change the projects, said Mark Lazarus, Horry County chairman.

The projects will then be voted upon in the November 2016 election.

Projects have to be completed in the order of the agreement.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News.Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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