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New interchange in Carolina Forest expected to break ground in 2023

Help for Carolina Forest Blvd. and River Oaks Drive congestion
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:02 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A new multi-million dollar interchange could soon help with congestion on Carolina Forest Boulevard and River Oaks Drive.

Last June, Horry County Council approved hospitality fee funding to go towards an extension of Augusta Plantation Drive to Revolutionary War Way and Highway 31.

The project follows the completion of the Carolina Forest Boulevard widening, but not everyone is thrilled about the interchange.

Some say they would have liked to see the money used to widen River Oaks Drive or Gardner Lacey and connect to International Drive.

There’s also concerns about how close the interchange is to several housing communities and schools.

Horry County Councilman Dennis Disabato says the project is still in the design phase and believes the project will do more good for Carolina Forest despite some concerns.

“It will be great for hurricane evacuations,” said Disabato.

In total, Horry County Council approved $23 million in hospitality fee funding for the estimated $75 million project.

The county also purchased most of the right of way for the interchange which they hope will get more traffic off U.S. 501 and River Oaks Drive.

“This project is going to help the flow of traffic, connect communities in Carolina Forest and there will be time for public input,” said Disabato.

Long-time Carolina Forest resident Bo Ives called the interchange a “game-changer” for the area.

“We’ve needed to do something about the traffic flowing off U.S. 501 so the interchange to Highway 31 will allow residents in Carolina Forest to get to so many new destinations faster than ever before,” said Ives.

Construction is expected to break ground in fall 2023 and should be completed by 2027.

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