Work continues on Glenns Bay Road project - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Work continues on Glenns Bay Road project

Drivers will see lane closures near the intersection. (Source: Ruby Durham) Drivers will see lane closures near the intersection. (Source: Ruby Durham)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - While it may feel like the south end of Myrtle Beach is just covered in orange barrels, there was a big change to your commute that was originally scheduled to take place Sunday. However, the lane switch on Glenns Bay at Highway 17 Bypass was canceled due to weather.

Traffic would have been rerouted and moved around to temporary lanes and ramps to give crews space to do construction on the bridge. The good news is while this may seem like another small piece to a big puzzle, the landscape there is changing.

The change was set to begin Sunday at 6:00 p.m.; you would have seen a lane switch on the southbound lanes. Once the switch happens, lanes will be switched over to temporary southbound exit ramps in order to open up the center portion of Highway 17 to continue with bridge work.

In two months, you will see the same situation on the northbound lanes. Up to this point, crews have been doing a lot of work either underground or along the side roads around this project.

However, based on the drawings and plans, this work is going to make a big difference. While they still have more to do, the change is another milestone in the project.

“The switch will continue to be a lighted intersection with stop lights, they’ll just be moved a little bit differently for that. If people were around when we did the back gate interchange project and we had to do the shifting on the ramps, it will be just like that,” said Horry County PIO Lisa Bourcier.

After the lane switches with the southbound lanes, the next phase will be in two months. Crews will do the same on the northbound side and switch all 17 bypass traffic to a temporary northbound exit ramp.

All of the changes are for crews to continue construction of the bridge. And as they’re doing this work, you can expect some slowdowns, but crews are planning to do most of the work overnight, to try to minimize any hassle.

But remember, this is an $80 million project and most of the money is underground. The massive amount of utility work takes a long time to complete.

“Once we also get the northbound ramps shifted in the next two months, that traffic pattern will hold for about a year, until that bridge is constructed and completed. And then we start to put the traffic on 17 back on that bridge. And then the exit ramps will function just like that as exit ramps,” Bourcier said.

The purpose of these projects is to accommodate more traffic, and locals living near the construction who were once tired of waiting on a project that causes them stress every day, are now singing a different song.

People who live here said they’re actually looking forward to the new access roads because it could potentially be a shortcut for their daily commutes.

During the work, the current entrance to the The Lakes on 17 Bypass will be closed until all of the new traffic shifts are complete.

Now people living at The Lakes subdivision can enter or exit their community at Holmestown Road or another entrance farther south on 17. Having the one entrance so close to that intersection built up a lot of traffic, putting a burden on all drivers, not just the locals.

People are happy with this new plan. Horry County officials said meetings to hammer out ideas and issues have helped them plan for a safer way in and out of their neighborhood.

“They’re very excited about it because it will allow them to cross that intersection and be able to go northbound on 17 in a much safer manner,” Bourcier said.

A new date and time for the lane switch has not yet been set, according to county officials. 

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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