Horry County Council approves resolution supporting Southern Evacuation Lifeline project

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 11:24 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2023 at 11:11 AM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - During Tuesday’s Horry County Council meeting, councilmembers approved a resolution voicing support for a major project that has been discussed for decades.

The Southern Evacuation Lifeline Resolution (SELL) is a road and bridge project that would create an evacuation route starting at Highway 17 Bypass in the southern part of Horry County and extending into the western part of the county. Phase 1 of the project, which includes a bridge over the Waccamaw River is expected to cost $450 million.

Three people who spoke during public input, including Burgess resident, Becky Ryon, said that they’re against SELL and are concerned about what it will do for traffic and stormwater drainage in the Burgess community.

“Having a road project that would destroy wetlands along its path would only exacerbate the flooding that we’re already experiencing. Burgess already has traffic problems, we do not need another four-lane highway dumping out,” Ryon said.

County council said the resolution is just to show they believe it’s a much-needed project and they’re putting their support behind it.

Councilman Mark Causey said RIDE III has already allocated $25 million to SELL, which is being used for an environmental study.

He added there is a lot of time for the community to look at it.

Tyler Servant echoed what Causey said, stating that SELL is still in the environmental impact stage. He said it’s been something they’ve been working on for over two decades.

“When you talk about emergency evacuation and getting people out of town in case of a storm, you talk about the SELL road,” Servant said. “This is something that we need direly in Horry County, specifically in the south end of Horry County.”

Servant added that there’s still no determination on what the exact route will be. He said there will be community meetings and a lot of other forums before any major decisions are made.

The final environmental impact study is expected to be released in August. Once that is released, the county will proceed with getting the proper permits which will also take years to get done.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.