Horry County begins bulk of construction on Glenn's Bay Rd - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry County begins bulk of construction on Glenn's Bay Rd

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - In 2006 Horry County voters supported a One-Cent Capital Project Sales Tax for roads. They also voted on roads they wanted to be a part of the Riding on a Penny program. Now Horry County is getting to the major road work on Glenn’s Bay Road.

The sales tax in the county added an additional penny on all retail sales, accommodations and prepared food and beverage. The tax generated around $446 million for the Riding on a Penny Program over the last seven years. County officials said this is the only way the county can pay for roads.

Horry County voters chose roads they felt needed to be widened to make the flow of traffic better.

County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said the project is not necessarily due to accidents, but the need to move more people conveniently north and south. She also said that after the success at "back gate", they are confident the road construction on Glenn’s Bay will make a big difference in the flow of traffic.

“The ‘Back gate’ project that we completed several months ago was probably one of the worse intersections we had in the county because of how many cars traveled in that intersection,” said Bourcier. "And it’s been a huge improvement since it’s been completed.”

Bourcier says the constant congestion on Glenn’s Bay is because the south strand has grown tremendously in the last 10 years, with lots of development and people moving to that area there’s a need for the roads to be widened. There’s lots of cars that travel the bypass on that intersection.

“The backups that we’re seeing now, the backups that we’ve been seeing for the last year of two, is why this project is needed,” said Bourcier. “That would definitely improve the traffic flow as well as the widening project on 707.”

WMBF News reporter Samaria Terry asked Bourcier if the $400 million price tag for the roadwork alarmed voters. She said the tax was passed overwhelmingly in 2006 and tourists paid a good portion of that. Be mindful that we get around 16 million visitors a year, which is the county’s biggest generator of revenue.  

She also said it will be interesting to show the voters that the county has been stewards of their money they have seen good projects completed, and hopefully they are willing to vote for another round of projects in 2016. 

The county is currently at Stage 1A of the 17 Bypass Interchange and only the second utilities phase from Ashton Glenn to Chandler Drive on the Glenn’s Bay project. The projects should finished in 2017, according to county officials.

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