MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - If you drive along the U.S. 17 Bypass early in the morning, you’ll see flashing lights and several signs up as crews continue working on the resurfacing project.
South Carolina Department of Transportation officials said this project is from the Carolina Opry split to the U.S. 501 overpass. When it comes to what has helped move this project along faster, they say it’s COVID-19.
Over the past few months, many people have stayed home and are driving less, which means fewer cars on the road. SCDOT crews, however, haven’t stopped working. In fact, they’ve actually taken advantage of the time with fewer travelers.
“Things are a lot quicker when you don’t have to worry about traffic,” said Anna Barnhill, resident construction engineer for Horry County. “They could get into the roads a little earlier. A lot of the times on these projects we don’t even let them start traffic control until 10, or 9 or 10 o’clock at night because of the traffic. We were able to ... maybe get in the road at 7 where we normally wouldn’t have been able to get into the road until 9 and it’s amazing how much that helps. Just that extra two hours has helped them as far as speeding up the process.”
SCDOT officials said this project is set to be complete by June 30. As that date nears, expect to see crews out early in the morning working on along the U.S. 17 Bypass as well as the U.S. 501 Bypass around Conway.
Some South Carolina roads are known for being filled with potholes and bumps, so this resurfacing helps drivers in multiple ways.
Thermoplastic is a big contributor, and according to ABC Paving and Sealcoating, it adds higher levels of safety, especially when you are driving at night and in wet conditions. So the addition of glass beads for reflectivity offers nighttime visibility and offers skid and slip resistance for drive safety.
While there have been fewer people on the roads the past couple of months due to COVID-19, SCDOT officials said it’s extremely important to remember to drive carefully around crews out working and avoid being distracted.
As far as other road projects happening right now, Horry County officials said all 14 RIDE III projects are currently on schedule.