Horry County leaders hope to widen part of Highway 701 near Loris

Highway 701 safety

LORIS, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County leaders are hoping to make a portion of Highway 701 in Loris is safer, and some in Loris say those changes can’t come soon enough.

Part of the Ride III project is to widen part of Highway 701 from downtown Loris to the Highway 9 Bypass. However, Horry County and Loris leaders also want to widen the portion of Highway 701 from Highway 9 Bypass to the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

Earlier this year, Horry County Council passed a resolution asking for the South Carolina Department of Transportation to fund a road widening project from Highway 9 Bypass to the state line.

Loris Fire Chief Jerry Hardee said it’s an improvement that is much needed.

“During the summer months, from basically the latter part of May to at least Labor Day on Saturdays and Sundays – check out days for the beach area – it’s normally bumper to bumper,” Hardee said.

Hardy said the congested area leads to accidents frequently.

In fact, a city of Loris employee died in a motorcycle accident on Highway 701 less than two months ago.

Horry County Councilman Paul Prince said he hopes SCDOT helps with the funding.

“It’s going to be either four lanes with the sidewalks or it’s going to be three lanes with sidewalks,” Prince said.

A widening project in that area would mean a lot less stress for Hardee and the rest of the fire department.

“Ideal situation on 701 would be to go four lanes if possible,” Hardee said.

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