HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - It's been one week since International Drive officially open to the public and residents along Highway 90 said having the roadway open actually makes them feel safer.
Carol and John Smulsky have lived off Highway 90 for nearly 10 years, and said having International Drive open will give them quicker access to emergency rooms and doctor's appointments, as well as firefighters and ambulances, if needed.
"It's the perfect escape from our development here on 90, we kind of felt isolated out here," said John Smulsky.
John and Carol bought their house in 2009 and were thrilled to see International Drive finally opened, not just for travel, but quicker emergency access their home.
"God forbid, we could have a heart attack as we get older that is why we chose this area because of Conway Hospital and being so close, now we can go much quicker," said Carol.
"If someone needs an ambulance out there on Highway 90 or needs to get to Myrtle Beach hospital or one of the Grand Strand offices and doctors, it's so much quicker now," said Johnny Vaught.
The street is also designed for yearly controlled burns and wildfires with removable barricades to shut down the road and easy access for equipment along the side street.
"If it gets up in those pine trees it can travel fast and becomes a wildfire, but if you burn it when the brushes are nice and low it doesn't get away from you," said Vaught.
Bikers and runners have their own lane stretching the entire roadway, which makes Carol feel safer while driving.
We also spoke with Johnny Vaught about the speed limit for International Drive which is only 45 miles-per-hour compared to 55 miles-per-hour on Highway 501.
Vaught said the speed is slower to protect animals that maybe crossing the roadway.