A new multipurpose path is coming to Murrells Inlet, connecting the inlet to the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Inlet to Intracoastal multipurpose path, which will be accessible to runners, walkers and bikers, will be completed in three phases, offering “area residents and visitors a safe, convenient way to travel by foot or bike,” according to the website for Murrells Inlet 2020, the community revitalization group behind the project.
“The path itself is going to be four miles long,” said Meredith Millen, executive director of Murrells Inlet 2020. “Phase one itself is what we’re working on now. It’s a mile long. It’s going to go around [Tidelands] Hospital.”
The path will begin at the inlet on Macklen Avenue, where it will cross over U.S. 17 Bypass and make a left onto Old Kings Highway, according to a site map provided by Murrells Inlet 2020. The path will continue along Old Kings Highway to the roundabout at Wachesaw Road. At that point users can either go back to the inlet or continue to follow the path to the Intracoastal Waterway.
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“It’s going to be set off the road,” Millen said. “It’s going to be five feet off the road and then 10 feet wide.”
The first part of the path to be built is currently in the engineering phase. Millen said that construction bids will soon go out, and that work will begin by the end of the year or early 2018.
Part of the process in building the path included surveying the needs of area residents, which included the help of Coastal Carolina University’s Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development, according to a news release.
“The grant center study revealed that, once completed, the path will provide a $1.2 million economic boost to the region, and property values within 500 feet of the proposed path will increase by approximately five percent,” Murrells Inlet 2020 board member Linda Lane said in the release.
Funding for the first phase of the project has been provided by Tidelands Health and Georgetown County.
“I think we’re lucky in that we’ve had some great support for phase one,” Millen said. “We’re still raising the funds for phase two and phase three, so we’re always looking for private donations or grant applications to fund the rest of it.”
The entire path is expected to be completed within three years.