. - MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - A massive, multi-million dollar project to connect Murrells Inlet is in the very early phases.
From the MarshWalk to the Intracoastal Waterway, the 3-mile trail will be completed in five phases, expects Renee Williamson, executive director of Murrells Inlet 2020.
The first phase will begin right at the end of the MarshWalk at Macklen Avenue and wind its way to the Wacca Wache Marina.
This project started with a community survey. Murrells Inlet 2020 asked residents what they would like to see to improve their neighborhoods. The answer, Williamson said, was multi-purpose paths.
The group then came up with a strategic plan for the Intracoastal Path, which Williamson anticipates will take about eight to 10 years to finish, and cost somewhere between $8 and $10 million.
Tidelands Health Center likes the idea for hospital patients and employees, noting the health benefits are huge. It is going to partner with Murrells Inlet 2020 on the first phase to weave it through the hospital campus.
Murrells Inlet 2020 met with real estate experts recently, who said home values skyrocket when a community has connectivity.
To make it happen, it is going to take gr ants, a capitol campaign where money raised goes straight to the fund that is earmarked for the project.
Murrells Inlet 2020 said it expects the work to begin in 2017, and are not sure yet if it will be spring or fall.