NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Expect an impact to your drive along the Grand Strand, crews are out working on Robert Edge Parkway and they'll be there for quite some time.
Robert Edge Parkway is a fairly new and highly traveled road, but unfortunately it is in need of repairs.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has scheduled the roadwork from Sept. 8 through Sept. 25, weather permitting.
Although this will impact your commute, City Spokesperson Pat Dowling said SCDOT originally wanted to do the work over the summer; due to the high volume of tourists, the city decided to wait until after Labor Day which is why they started the work, Tuesday.
The project begins with one side of the road is closed, which means you cannot cross the bridge heading towards US-17.
SCDOT will eventually working on both sides of the road, so from now until the end of the month, there will be a period, the road will be closed, in both directions.
Detours are set up in the area for Highways 31, 17 and 9.
The engineer on this project said, the bridge itself is fine and stable.
According to SCDOT, work will include repairing the approach slabs, replacing the damaged roadway concrete, replacing and upgrading the expansion joint seals, and replacing the damaged slope protection.
Dowling said, this work needs to be done, especially the approach slabs, leading up to the bridge. He said it's sinking into the ground, and if its not fixed, will make the the approach to the bridge increasingly difficult for drivers.
"Eventually you'd have a 6 inch to a foot drop, potentially," Dowling said. "So you just you have to go in and take up the slab that's there, re-enforce the soils underneath, and then pour a new slab and that should solve the problem."
With that being said, there will be partial and full road closures throughout the month, so drivers like Sherry Fratz, said just avoid Robert Edge, at all costs.
"I went the wrong way, 20 minutes out of my way to come back and turn around," Fratz said. " I'd have to leave at least 15-20 minutes earlier every day."
Drivers alike understand, roadwork needs to be done.
"I'm glad that they're taking care of it because it was pretty scary looking," driver Erin Hell said.
According to City Spokesperson Pat Dowling this project will cost SCDOT about $480,000 dollars to complete.
SCDOT Key dates (weather permitting) in the repair project
· Sept. 8 around midnight: The eastbound (inbound) lanes on Robert Edge Parkway from US Highway 17 to beyond the bridge will close for approximately two weeks. During this time, motorists will not be able to enter North Myrtle Beach using Robert Edge Parkway but will have to do so via alternate routes.
· Sept. 14: After evening rush hour, westbound lanes and sidewalk will be closed.
· Sept. 21: After evening rush hour, westbound lanes opened up to traffic, sidewalk to stay closed
· Sept. 25: Eastbound lanes and all sidewalks to reopen.
· Sept. 25-30: Some periodic lane closures eastbound and/or westbound as needed for any remaining work.