Turn lanes could improve driver safety along Carolina Forest Boulevard

Published: Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:39 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Engineers have a plan to make Carolina Forest Boulevard safer for drivers by putting in turn lanes.

Andrew Markunas said a lot of planning will be taking place next month to put in turn lanes near the new Carolina Forest Recreation Center, Avalon neighborhood and Southgate neighborhood.

The planning involves surveyors looking at the drainage system and utilities in the area. After designs are laid out, construction bids will go out and dirt could start moving anywhere from mid to late spring.

Engineers are thinking through what traffic flow will be like during construction and whether they will need to shrink down to one lane while the project is underway. Engineers say the price tag for the project is estimated at about $1 million dollars. They say the money is coming from leftover funds from previous road widening projects in Carolina Forest.

But some say the turn lanes are a high priority. Chuck Rhome, the current president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association said, "To keep the flow of traffic going safely on Carolina Forest Boulevard but also in and out of the Rec center they have to be there-not a choice...just a matter of when can we get them done."

Rhome added that turn lanes are essential to provide for the huge population growth in Carolina Forest. Rhome stated, "I know there are going to be 4-5 churches built on CF Blvd. There are plans for 1-2 medical facilities to be built on CF Blvd and all these things are progress but they cause traffic and traffic has to not be has to keep moving."

But that is not the only place you will see turn lanes put into place. Andrew Markunas said, "Avalon is one of the busiest subdivisions and Southgate is right where the four lane section on CF Blvd necks down to 2."

All that traffic creates safety concerns and that is why Horry County Engineers are getting turn lanes. Markunas added, "There is a history of crashes there-we think this would help that and help mitigate those crashes."

But Markunas said it is all part of a bigger plan that does not have a time stamp. Markunas stated, "Long range plan to widen CF Blvd. to a full 4 lane cross section with turning lanes kind of like you see in front of the Elementary school now."

Engineers say there is not a timeline as to when we could see Carolina Forest Boulevard being widened, but we could see turning lanes being put into place in the spring.

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