Myrtle Beach crews install new downtown parking pavements to prevent flooding

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 7:51 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The city of Myrtle Beach is adding new pavement to the Nance Plaza parking lot that will help prevent flooding in nearby roads.

This new upgrade to the downtown parking lot is called permeable pavement.

It allows rainwater to seep into the ground instead of running off into the streets which can cause flooding.

The pavement can handle up to 500 gallons of water per minute which is a little more than a hot tub can hold.

Infrastructure Project Manager Chris Miller said, so far, the new pavement has only been used in the parking lot at Charlie’s Place and has shown great results, so the city wanted to include the pavement downtown.

“It’s really, really turning out nice. I love the look of it. I think the way it’s gonna handle the water runoff and everything is just gonna beautify the city and just help everything in this downtown district,” said Miller.

The pavement is made from concrete bricks that are connected but have a gap in between to allow the rainwater to seep through, and the brick is made with three different layers of stone, including a sand layer, to absorb the water.

Miller said one goal of this project is to help people avoid the struggles of driving downtown on rainy days.

“We always try to eliminate as much flooding on the roadways as possible for the traveling public, so we try to get everything down into the ground and this product is one of those that has been really successful,” said Miller.

The pavement not only helps with flooding but also creates more space for parking by eliminating the need for a retention pond which typically holds the rainwater.

This project has been in the works for two years, and construction is expected to finish up by the end of August.

However, this is just Phase One in the city’s efforts to improve the Arts and Innovation District.

After the phase is complete, Phase Two will be in full swing and includes some major upgrades.

Phase Two will include tackling the road system along Oak Street, Broadway Street, as well as 8th and 9th Avenue North.

This will include adding the permeable pavement to parallel parking spaces and bike lanes. The city will also add all new sidewalks and landscaping.

New improvements will also move underground by upgrading the water, sewer and storm drainage system as well as moving the electrical systems underground which will remove telephone and cable TV poles.

Phase Two is expected to last between four and five years.

Unit Paving and Belgard are hosting a Lunch and Learn for anyone who would like to know more about permeable pavers at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

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