Organizers hope downtown Myrtle Beach will be busy Saturday starting early with the MyrtleBeach.com marathon and finishing with the 2014 Boardwalk Country Music Kickoff.
The MyrtleBeach.Com Myrtle Beach Marathon starts at 6:30 a.m. on Grissom Parkway near 21st Avenue North and ends at TicketReturn.com Field. More than 10,000 runners are expected to hit the streets throughout the marathon weekend.
City spokesman Mark Kruea said traffic likely will be congested between 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. due to the race, which runs as far south as The Market Common and north to 82nd Avenue North.
Delays are expected on Kings Highway, Ocean Boulevard, Farrow Parkway, Robert Grissom Parkway and various cross streets. U.S. 17 Bypass will not be affected by the marathon, but could see more motorists as it serves as the primary north-south route.
As runners clear away from Ocean Boulevard, the day’s second event will be gearing up. The Oceanfront Merchants Association hopes to kick off the 2014 vacation season with the Seaside Country Music Festival featuring local bands including The Tyler Hammond Band and The Josh Brannon Band. The free festival runs from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Plyler Park on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
Kruea said the marathon will be ending at 2 p.m. and there are no delays or parking troubles expected for anyone planning to attend the music festival.
The week’s winter weather also had minimal impact on setting up the race, Kruea said. Typically, he said, crews would have done some work getting the stadium area ready Wednesday, but icy weather prevented that.
Roadways won’t be blocked off until early Saturday morning.
Myrtle Beach Police Capt. David Knipes said traffic congestion will peak between 9 a.m. and noon and said drivers should be patient and prepared to share the road with runners and spectators.
Access to Broadway at the Beach will be limited to U.S. 17 Bypass and 29th Avenue North between 4 a.m. and 2 p.m.
All local residents will be permitted access to business and residences, but delays can be expected, Knipes said.
Kings Highway, Ocean Boulevard and Robert Grissom Parkway will see the most closures throughout the day. The following is a complete list of road closures:
21st Avenue North, east and west of the intersection with Grissom Parkway
Grissom Parkway from 21st Avenue North to Mr. Joe White Avenue
One westbound lane of Mr. Joe White Avenue from Grissom Parkway to Kings Highway
Southbound Kings Highway from Mr. Joe White Avenue to Farrow Parkway
Farrow Parkway from Kings Highway to Johnson Street
Pampas Drive from Mallard Lake Drive to Farrow Parkway
Johnson Street from Farrow Parkway to Nevers Street
Hackler Street from Johnson Street to Farrow Parkway
Nevers Street from DeVille Street to Farrow Parkway
Howard Street from Farrow Parkway to Reed Avenue
Emmens Avenue from Gabreski Lane to Farrow Parkway
Farrow Parkway across Kings Highway to South Ocean Boulevard
Northbound Ocean Boulevard to 82nd Parkway
Westbound lanes of 82nd Parkway from North Ocean Boulevard to Grand Dunes Boulevard
Eastbound lanes of Grand Dunes Boulevard to Kings Highway
Southbound Kings Highway from Grand Dunes Boulevard to 65th Avenue North
Westbound lanes of 65th Avenue North to Frontage Road and East Coast Greenway
Frontage Road-East Coast Greenway from 65th Avenue North to Granddaddy Boulevard
Southbound Grissom Parkway from Granddaddy Boulevard to 21st Avenue North
48th Avenue North from Grissom Parkway to Oleander Street
Southbound Oleander Street from 48th Avenue North to 44th Avenue North
44th Avenue North from Oleander Street to Mayfair Street
Mayfair Street from 44th Avenue North to London Street
London Street from Mayfair Street to Grissom Parkway
Grissom Parkway from London Street to finish at TicketReturn.Com Field