HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Motorists who have traveled down the U.S. 17 Bypass near Shetland Lane the last several weeks have no doubt come across a lot of orange barricades. By Tuesday afternoon, those barricades will be gone.
What was once a median-cut, known as 'the intersection' to most, at Shetland Lane and U.S. 17 is now filled. The median-cut was the site of numerous accidents throughout the years. Two fatalities occurred in 2015 accidents there.
But the closure does decrease business in the area. Chris Marden said Joe's Airport Diner lost 45% of its business when the median-cut closed. Business has gone back up some, but hasn't recovered. He said the diner has survived simply by letting area residents know they're there. Right now, drivers must turn around at Farrow Parkway or make an illegal U Turn to get to Shetland Drive.
However, the government has a road extension in the works to improve the problem. A project was proposed last year to extend Fred Nash Boulevard to Harrelson Boulevard. Myrtle beach spokesman Mark Kruea says the money is available under Ride III. The project would widen and extend Fred Nash Boulevard around the west end of the Myrtle Beach International Airport runway and run parallel to US 17. Then it would connect with Harrelson Boulevard, most likely at Seaboard Street or Grissom Parkway. This way you could drive from Harrelson to Farrow Parkway and back without getting on U.S. 17.
The project will be voted on in November.