SCDOT discusses safety improvements along busy Myrtle Beach roads

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 11:20 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 11:28 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -- The South Carolina Department of Transportation heard from dozens during a public meeting Thursday night about safety improvements along two busy roads in Myrtle Beach.

SCDOT addressed safety concerns for drivers, bikers and pedestrians, Mr. Joe White and 21st Avenue North, and went over the current construction plans.

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“It’s about time for some improvements on 21st and 10th Avenue,” said Don Cauthen.

The roads were selected for improvement through the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program which uses data to identify roads with high crash rates and implements new safety enhancements.

Don Cauthen has owned Dirty Don’s Oyster along 21st Avenue for three decades and said the road is becoming busier every year.

“During the festivals, the street is packed and people jaywalk to restaurants on both sides of the street,” said Cauthen.

SCDOT’s reports show Mr. Joe White Avenue and 21st Avenue North recorded over 900 car wrecks, 26 bicycle accidents and 17 pedestrian crashes from 2013 to 2020, of those crashes three were deadly and nearly 30% of the crashes involved injuries.

Myrtle Beach Fire Department says they’re no stranger to responding to wrecks along these roads especially the intersections at night.

Some of the improvements include more visible crosswalks, pedestrian crossings with “refuge islands” and bicycle signs and markings.

SCDOT Road Safety Project Manager, Kaylon Meetze said input, like they received today, is what the department needs to make sure issues they don’t always see get addressed.

“The locals might have a different insight than we do and we want to hear their approach and what they think needs to happen,” said Meetze.

If you couldn’t make it to the meeting you can submit written comments by mail or email by Oct. 28.

SCDOT says construction is expected to start fall of 2023 and take about 10 months to complete.