Dangerous intersection gets a safety makeover

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The most dangerous intersection in the Grand Strand could have lost that notorious title. New Traffic lights at Pine Island Road and Oak Forest Lane in Myrtle Beach may have kept the collision prone intersection, accident free.

Patrick Sadek, City of Myrtle Beach Engineer, says so far the new light is right on target.

"It's 100 percent safer and there's better traffic flow. Residents are very happy with it. It's one of the most successful projects that we had last year," said Sadek of the new light.

Months of construction, $125,000 later, the new traffic signals are up and running. The new lights were installed last November. Sadek says since then, there have not been any car accidents and says it survived the biggest test of all. The new lights helped to keep the busy mall intersection accident free during the holiday shopping frenzy.

The intersection held the record for the highest number of crashes in the city, 70 crashes in a three year span according to City of Myrtle Beach police records. Local drivers say the traffic was also a big problem.

"We go to Costco quite a bit. We go to the shopping center quite a bit. The traffic is always terrible trying to get in and out of there. It's very dangerous," said City of Myrtle Beach resident Bob Brownfield.

Brownfield and his wife say they've seen the improvements with the new light and think the new signals was taxpayer money well spent. "We thought it was fantastic. The best thing they could have done," added Brownfield.

Sadek say he and his team will continue to monitor the light's performance and impact to traffic. He says specifically in the coming months because there will be a string of new businesses opening soon near the intersection. This could add to the number of drivers who will use the already busy intersection.

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