MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -The Memorial Day tourist rush has started and Myrtle Beach city leaders are expecting a busy weekend ahead.
They’ve prepared for the influx of people coming to the beach and said changes will make a difference as to how drivers move around the city this weekend.
Barricades and cones line the street along Ocean Boulevard, while traffic will only be allowed along the southbound lane beginning Friday. The northbound lane will be for emergency vehicles only.
Drivers who need to get onto Ocean Boulevard will have to use one of the following streets:
- 21st Avenue North
- 9th Avenue North
- 3rd Avenue South
- 13th Avenue South
- 19th avenue south
- 25th avenue south
That’s not where the traffic changes end. The city’s plans are made up of three separate parts:
Part One: Traffic control devices have been staged at various intersections across the city. In the event that a roadway becomes heavily congested and the traffic demands exceed the roadway capacity, a team of officers have been identified to utilize the staged traffic control devices to divert traffic to a less congested area.
Part Two: South Carolina Highway Patrol will be monitoring eight intersections at key points throughout the city during peak travel times. Their role will be to direct traffic and control the intersection to ensure traffic is moving, and the intersection does not become congested.
Part Three: Beginning Friday morning at 6 a.m., motorists will be allowed to travel southbound only on Ocean Boulevard. The northbound lane will be for emergency vehicles only. Pedestrian barricades have been placed along the curb on Ocean Boulevard. The barricades will encourage pedestrians to utilize the crosswalks and to prevent pedestrians from walking in the roadway.
Even with the expected influx of tourists and locals heading to the beach this weekend, the city isn’t doing the 23-mile traffic loop that has been used over previous Memorial Day weekends.
“One very good point is the fact that the Atlantic Beach Bike Fest that normally brings in an influx of our visitors for this weekend when we initially started planning this event had been postponed," Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock said. "We obviously had been starting with our traffic management plan in evaluating that. Secondary to that, we also were working with what would be the best way to address the influx of visitors, and initially we hadn’t had the occupancy ratings at the point that we’re at right now.”
Prock also said the traffic loop was only used once in 2018 and not at all in 2019. She added that by not using it this year, it frees up officers for strategic deployment elsewhere.
There will also be restrictions on golf carts and mopeds in Myrtle Beach throughout the Memorial Day weekend.
Golf carts will be restricted on Ocean Boulevard south of 29th Avenue North starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday and running through Monday.
Mopeds will be prohibited on Ocean Boulevard south of 29th Avenue North during the following times:
- 12 a.m. through 8 a.m. Friday
- 8 p.m. Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday
- 8 p.m. Saturday through 8 a.m. Sunday
- 8 p.m. Sunday until the traffic control devices are removed on Monday