Community addresses flaws following completion of Carolina Forest Boulevard widening project

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 8:09 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Carolina Forest Boulevard widening project has come to an end in hopes of improving congestion along the busy road.

On Monday, afternoon, Horry County leaders celebrated the end of the decade-long project during the Grand Opening ceremony.

Horry County Councilman Dennis DiSabato said he is excited to see the project is finally done.

“I’m excited and I’m happy. This is a long time coming. This is a project that has been important for the community. Since mid-2000, 15 years later, we finally got the project completed. People are driving along the roadway and it’s been great,” said DiSabato

The project cost leaders $38 million with the help of the one-cent capital projects sales tax from the RIDE program.

The new improvements to Carolina Forest Boulevard include widening it to four lanes with turning lane intersections, additional traffic signals and a multi-use path on both sides of the roadway for people to walk or bike.

But once the project was done, some residents living on Carolina Forest Boulevard noticed flaws within the project and are concerned about road safety.

For example, Don Alexander said he deals with road safety when leaving his neighborhood every day. He said when he turns out of his neighborhood, he can only turn right. There is no traffic light and no middle lane to get to Carolina Forest Blvd toward Highway 501.

“We cannot get across the intersection because the traffic is backed up and we hope that we can get a traffic light or some other way to get across the highway to get to 501,” said Alexander.

Alexander isn’t the only resident facing road issues after the development.

The president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association Carole vanSickler is concerned that infrastructure isn’t keeping up with the growing number of people moving to the area.

“There’s a lot more infrastructure that needs to be done in this community... because of the growing number of homes,” said vanSickler.

While at the ceremony vanSickler proposed more traffic studies in the Carolina Forest community since the area has been growing at a rapid pace for many years.

“We are still trying to get the county to look at those areas. They did some great plans but not every plan is perfect. Things may need to be addressed now that the boulevard is fully open,” said vanSickler.

DiSabato said the county is working to address the issues, but couldn’t say if additional traffic lights will be added along the Carolina Forest Boulevard.

The Postal Way project is ongoing and is costing leaders $6.8 million to improve traffic along Carolina Forest Boulevard. Leaders are hoping to be done with the project in December 2022.

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