Work continues on S.C. 31 bridge over Intracoastal Waterway as SCDOT negotiates anticipated completion time

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Although construction for the extension to S.C. 31 is delayed, crews were seen actively working on the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway on Friday.

Horry County spokesperson Kelly Moore said right now, bridge work includes paving, steel work, drainage installation and marine light installation.

Hurricanes and flooding are some examples of what pushed the project back from the initial anticipated June 2017 completion date.

Neighbors who live near the extension don't seem to mind.

"I'm from Rutherford, N.J., where Giants Stadium was. So, we had all the roads. It was easy to get in and out of," said area resident Raymond Scott.

Drivers can expect ramp changes coming near the interchange of S.C. 544 and S.C. 31 northbound.

"We don't have dates for that yet. We will be communicating that out when we have those dates," said Moore. "Those changes will be clearly marked and eventually, what will happen is, it will eliminate, if you're going eastbound on 544, a left turn onto the northbound ramp for 31."

Moore said the South Carolina Department of Transportation is working through contract negotiations to come to a completion date. When the extension is complete, the new roadway is expected to benefit the south end of the Grand Strand, like Surfside Beach and Murrells Inlet.

"There's going to be a more direct access to Conway and it'll take some of that traffic load off Highway 544 and the 17 interchange," Moore said.

"It's going to cause more truck traffic," said Scott, "Now the truck traffic doesn't bother me because I drove a truck for 50 years."

Moore said the anticipated completion date right now is sometime this fall.

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.