MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation, in partnership with Horry County, will hold a public information meeting on Tuesday to discuss the long-awaited proposed connection of Fred Nash Boulevard to Harrelson Boulevard in Myrtle Beach.
The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Socastee Elementary School.
Right now, Fred Nash Boulevard leads to a dead end along U.S. 17, but SCDOT crews are working on plans to connect it directly to Harrelson Boulevard. They’re also planning to widen the existing Fred Nash Boulevard to three lanes from Emory Road, along with bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
With the growth in the area, officials hope this will reduce traffic congestion at the U.S. 17 and Harrelson Boulevard interchange.
The $19.3 million project is part of Horry County’s RIDE III sales tax program and is currently in its preliminary engineering phase. Business owners in the area said they’re looking forward to this project and hope it will help drive more business as new homes continue to pop up in the area.
“There’s a new development right down the road not even a mile down the road - I think there’s roughly 600 lots that are being built on it - and there’s also another subdivision right around the corner from it, and they’re working on the fourth phase now. So, it’s always exciting to see new developments go up. This connector should help with that as well,” said Grant Dillard, branch manager for Ferguson Waterworks.
Marla Watson, assistant program manager with SCDOT, said right now there’s two designs on the table officials are considering and they hope to get some feedback from the public before moving forward.
Since 1998, Andrew Parness, owner of Pronto Press, has been in business on Fred Nash Boulevard and has seen the growth in the area over the years. He said this expansion is needed.
“I was very excited. I mean, we’re not an ice cream shop, we’re more of a destination, so people come here anyway. It will just make it easier for us to get out of here. I make deliveries for a lot of my customers. Driving in and out is always a challenge, so having the other end open will make it much easier, especially for me," Parness said.
Construction is slated for summer 2021.