. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach will soon reach a milestone no other city in the country can boast - a complete section of the East Coast Greenway across city limits.
The East Coast Greenway is a system of trails and paths that extends 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. It runs right down much of South Carolina's coast, and goes straight through Myrtle Beach.
The only part of the greenway that is not connected is 1,600 feet along Kings Highway, which ends after Harrelson Boulevard. But that will soon change.
Myrtle Beach Public Works Project Manager Brian Stewart said the city is sinking $190,000 into completing the connection.
When it is finished, the entire segment in Myrtle Beach will be connected, which is something Stewart said no other municipality along the route can currently offer.
Everyday drivers in Myrtle Beach will benefit, too. The project had to take into account storm drainage, so improvements were made along the 1,600-foot stretch. Those will make flooding and ponding on the road less likely.
Many Myrtle Beach residents might not have heard of it, but the East Coast Greenway is a well-known trail in the cycling and backpacking community. More and more people challenge themselves to make the trip from north to south every year.
Making that small connection of trails is something the city has wanted for quite some time.
"What I love about it is the city has been actively trying to promote cycling, improve cycling infrastructure and make this a cycling destination, a fitness destination," said David Aguilar, with Pee Dee Bicycle Company. "We have triathlons, we have cycling events, we have a lot of group rides and things like that. So I think it's awesome that now we can claim to be ... we're basically the only town where you can get across the whole town on the Greenway connected."
The work should start later this month and is expected to be finished by October.