MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A RIDE III project to realign U.S. 501 through downtown Myrtle Beach could force some business owners to relocate.
The reaction to the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s plans was split for the project nearly three decades in the making.
Some residents felt the changes were great and will make the intersection safer. Others felt nothing needs to change, sticking with the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“We have people that live here every day and I sometimes think they’re being forgotten,” said Nancy Sprinkle.
Sprinkle has lived in Myrtle Beach for over 50 years and was one of the residents against the $13.9 million project that would connect U.S. 501 to Seventh Avenue North at Oak Street.
“At the intersection of U.S. 501 and Broadway, it’s very confusing, said Stacey Johnson with SCDOT.
Residents and business owners agreed the intersection as it exists is confusing and while the changes should make the intersection safer for drivers and pedestrians, it would mean demolishing several buildings.
“There are some businesses that will be majorly affected, that will be total takes,” said Johnson.
We reached out to one of those businesses, Ed’s Hobby Shop, but they did not have any comment at this time.
Residents were allowed to leave written comments about the current designs, which will be looked at by SCDOT.
“Just changing the road after all these years, and I know change has to happen, but it’s not always good for the public who live here,” said Sprinkle.
Construction isn’t scheduled to start until spring 2022 and will take up to a year and a half to complete.