Winter weather has slowed Kings Highway improvements in downtown Myrtle Beach, but city engineers say construction still is on schedule for completion in May.
Construction began in February and workers have completed work on two blocks, said city engineer Patrick Sadek.
Improvements include the milling and resurfacing of Kings Highway, new curbs, gutters and sidewalks and crosswalks at every intersection that doesn’t have a traffic light, Sadek said.
Construction has taken place on each side of the street, beginning in the 700 block of Kings Highway North with closures of the lane closest to the curb in each direction, Sadek said. The work is moving south block by block until completed, with the project expected to end at Third Avenue South by May 30.
Anthony Agnone, who works at Hookah Heaven in the 400 block of Kings Highway North, said the construction has greatly impacted business. Construction has closed one of the driveways to the shop, and Agnone said it’s confusing to potential customers who would have to circle the block to get into the parking lot.
“By that time they don’t even want to stop anymore and end up going to another spot,” he said. “There’s another [hookah] store down the street.”
Sadek said once four blocks are complete, work will be done to improve the medians on each of the blocks at one time.
“Instead of taking the traffic control down and then putting them back, they’ll just move them to the middle,” he said. “When they finish the medians for first four [blocks], they pull the traffic cones and they’ll be completely done [with those blocks].”
John Sidone said he’s in Myrtle Beach’s downtown area daily and hasn’t found the construction to be too inconvenient.
“It’s just like any other time there’s construction,” he said. “It will be nice once it’s done.”
In January, Sadek told business owners that the city chose the affected section of Kings Highway to connect with all of the improvements that have been done in that area over the years.
“We want to connect it with the work we’re doing on Third Avenue South, we want to connect with the Boulevard, we want to connect with the Boardwalk, which starts at Third Avenue North,” Sadek said. “When this project is done this is going to be the best section of Kings Highway.”