HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Watch out on your commutes this week for construction work on Highway 17 between Harrelson Boulevard and Farrow Parkway, near Shetland Lane.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation started work Monday to cover the median at the Lauderdale Bay condominium entrance. The median is prone to T-bone-type accidents, like the median that was also recently covered at Shetland Lane. This median doesn't have as large of an accident history as Shetland Lane, but officials are closing it for safety issues.
Businesses along Fred Nash Boulevard were commonly accessed by the Shetland Ln. median. Many, especially Joe's Diner by the Airport, were worried the median closure would hurt business. Once it was closed, Joe's Diner said they had a 40 percent sales loss.
It turns out it depends on your type of business. The barbershop next door to Joe's Diner said their sales also went down. But ]WMBF News Reporter Meredith Helline spoke with them later, Joe's Diner was packed and the barbershop owner said her business is back up; clients just had to get used to the change.
However, the auto business along Fred Nash Blvd. is still feeling the effects of the closure. Auto salesman Danny Callahan said he's lost his impulse buyers since the median closed.
"In speaking with others in the area, I think we all felt a little bit of an impact, especially in the beginning...and some of the businesses are back where they used to be, but, I think we just may have to so some alternative marketing to get our numbers back up where they need to be," Callahan said.
It's right in/right out is only at the Lauderdale Bay entrance now. You'll have to continue to head south on Highway 17 to make a U-turn at the Farrow Parkway interchange to go north. If you're headed north and want to turn around, you need to keep going until you get to Harrelson Blvd. Loop around at the interchange there to come back south on to 17.
An SCDOT official said the road work is weather-dependent, but should last a week.