Postal Way extension project comes with intersection upgrade to ease Carolina Forest commutes

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 10:37 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County released new details about a project that’s been years in the making and could make for a faster commute.

The county announced a starting date for construction on the extension of Postal Way, which is scheduled to begin July 21 and finish around December 2022.

Part of this project will address Carolina Forest’s busiest intersection, which is what the district’s county council representative is most excited about.

“It’s a really screwed up intersection because too much stuff is happening in one place,” said Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught.

Like plenty of other people who commute through Carolina Forest, Vaught does his best to avoid the Carolina Forest Boulevard-Postal Way intersection at rush hour.

He’s hoping that an upcoming Ride III project will change that.

“When they redesign that intersection, there’ll be turn lanes and all, so if you’re going to Publix and Ollie’s, you’ll have an easier time getting through rather than waiting for the traffic to clear at Carolina Forest,” Vaught said.

The additional turn lanes are one part of the project to clear congestion. The other is extending Postal Way behind Tanger Outlets to connect with Waccamaw Pines Drive.

Waccamaw Pines Drive, in turn, connects with U.S. 501, essentially connecting Postal Way to the highway.

“I think once you see that road go in, you’ll see more commercial go in that way rather than homes,” Vaught said.

Vaught thinks the long-term effect will be commercial development, but the first addition to the new part of Postal Way will be 330 new town homes.

Those will go in behind Planet Fitness and should be complete around the same time as the Postal Way extension.

While all that’s going on, Horry County Council just approved 154 new town homes on the other side of Postal Way closer to Carolina Forest High School.

To help break up the traffic, those residents will get a new road that connects to U.S. 501.

“It’ll come in to a traffic circle near that development, which should take care of the extra traffic,” Vaught said.

That road will be a right in, right out to U.S. 501, which means they won’t be adding any new traffic lights.

Cleaning up one light without adding another is music to Vaught’s ears.

“We don’t need another light,” Vaught said. “No, we don’t need another light.”

The county is currently accepting bids on the project, with money already set aside. If everything goes according to schedule, cars could be driving on the new extension by early 2023.

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