A mound of flattened dirt and gravel off S.C. 90 leads toward the Carolina Forest community, but stops at a dead end.
As officials checked off nearly all the other RIDE II road projects funded with a 1-cent sales tax since voters approved it in 2006, construction of International Drive never started – leaving residents in one of Horry County’s fastest-growing communities frustrated.
3,180 Days since Nov. 6, 2006 when voters approved RIDE II including International Drive and today
And with a recent challenge by environmental groups over the absence of bear crossings in the plan, the road faces even more delays.
“My thing is,” said Felicia Soto, a resident along S.C. 90 who has helped start a petition to get the road built now, “is this thing ever going to come to be?”
South Carolina law requires road improvement programs funded by sales tax revenue to be done in the order they were presented to voters. Some residents were upset when they saw the progress of the 15th project on RIDE II – the paving of 30 miles of dirt roads – while International Drive, the 13th project, sat stagnant. Construction on the extension of S.C. 31 and widening of S.C. 707, two RIDE II projects, were delayed two years by environmental protests, which prevented the timely start of projects like International Drive. Steve Gosnell, an assistant county administrator, said work to get International Drive shovel ready began in 2009.
Living here for 17 years and know how Horry County government and everything else works, you don’t talk about something unless you see it.”
Realtor Dan Ferworn on not promising homebuyers that International Drive would come to fruition
Now the county is working on RIDE III, which is about $530 million of road projects.
“My feeling is, let’s not start [RIDE] III when we haven’t finished [RIDE] II,” Soto said.