Conceptual design plans presented for Garden City improvements

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 11:17 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) -- More than $45 million is being invested into improvements of the Garden City area of Horry County.

The local hospitality fee revenue is providing the funding to improve roads, drainage, pedestrian and bicycle lanes, improved parking and connection to beach accesses along with more street lighting.

The plans, which include roadwork along Atlantic Avenue and Waccamaw Drive, were presented during a virtual meeting Thursday night.

Project leader Mike Rutkowski with Stantec Engineering laid out the conceptual plans for this multi-million dollar project of Garden City.

Since March Horry County leaders have been gathering input from the community about how they want to see this $46 million spent.

From moving utilities underground to turning a two-lane portion of Atlantic Avenue into a single-lane road, most of the plans did address what residents wanted.

“We’d have this protected space for people on bikes and wider sidewalks for outdoor seating and plenty of room for people to walk around,” said Rutkowski.

Garden City is one of the few public beaches in Horry County to offer free beach access parking year-round, meaning spaces fill up fast.

The new plans would make better use of current parking lots and create new spaces along parts of Waccamaw Drive heading towards Cypress Avenue.

“We’d add on-street parking where appropriate so we’re not blocking any driveways,” said Rutkowski.

Ryan Swaim with Dunes Realty says one of the focal points of the project he likes is the improvements in the aesthetic look of downtown Garden City.

“Garden City has been popular for a long time but a lot of our side streets are filled with parking and we haven’t been able to add to the aesthetic look,” said Swaim.

The most significant changes could be made in the heart of Garden City with the addition of better lighting, improved walkability, and parking while also addressing drainage.

“This is your gateway and you’ll have more space for walking and a better system for water to drain properly,” said Rutkowski.

The design plans are still in the early stages and bids for constriction still need to be sent out.

The goal is to break ground on some phases of the project in 2023.

CLICK HERE if you would like to add your input to the conceptual designs.