As the Burgess community grows, new plans in the works

BURGESS COMMUNITY, SC (WMBF) The Horry County Planning Department says with the population rapidly growing in this area, and with all the tourists, there's concern about a safe evacuation in case of a hurricane.

The main priority is build up the roads to handle all the traffic- like spending between 80 to 90 million to work on improving Highway 707.

Highway 707 is the main roadway running through the Burgess Community, and SCDOT says it's closer to starting construction on this project. The plan is to widen the highway, and to extend Highway 31 to meet with Highway 707. This way Highway 707 can be taken all the way down to Highway 17 in Georgetown. The focus will also be on improving intersections in the area- like Tournament Boulevard and Highway 17...and the Holmestown/Glens Bay road and Highway 17 intersection, which would affect the Burgess Community and Surfside residents.

Officials with the Horry County Planning Department say they looked at all the roads in the Burgess area, and these roads systems had the biggest traffic concerns.

"When we first came out here in the community we needed to learn what the concerns were of the community and to see what they were," said Adam Emrich with Horry County. "So we've driven on every road that isn't built and every back road that's there and partially built that's there to gauge what the real concerns are."

Right now SCDOT is working on getting all the required permits to begin the work on 707, and construction is expected to start mid to late next summer.

The Burgess Community area is shedding its rural roots and becoming more of a suburban community. It's the reason why they have been surveying the area since the spring to figure out how to accommodate all the growth.

The Burgess Community has seen 21 thousand people move into the community over the past twenty years. And as the county gets ready for the next 20 years, a plan is being set in place. Some of the highlights in the 24 page draft of the plan are- providing public transportation to the burgess area, increasing the storm water system to manage the growing volume, and promoting more commercial and residential development. The hope is this plan will improve the growing conditions for residents who have spent many years in the community, and for those who are just moving there.

"Burgess is a kind of laid back community," said resident Cad Holmes. "It's a quiet community. And some families are still here. But I've seen a tremendous amount of growth in the area."

There have been a series of community meetings to discuss the first draft of this plan.

The Horry County Planning department will be taking input and suggestions from residents and the public on the area plan until January.

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