A two-year road construction project on Third Avenue South was estimated to be complete this spring, but is now anticipated to end in August – four years after it began.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said Brad Cribb, whose father owns Harry’s Discount Tire Center at 903 Third Avenue South in the heart of construction.
For more than three years, Harry’s Discount Tire Center and neighboring businesses have coped with the orange traffic barrels, the rutted roadways and lane diversions, watching customers struggle to get in and out of parking lots.
“They’re nervous about running over stuff,” Cribb said.
Engineers told the business the project should be complete by the end of June, but that was before they ran into a snag with the utilities.
“We were hoping it was going to be in June, but I guess not,” Cribb said. “No telling when it’s going to finally end.”
Anna Levy, resident construction engineer with the S.C. Department of Transportation, said they hope to finish before August.
The majority of everything is going to be done before August.
Anna Levy, resident construction engineer with the S.C. Department of Transportation
“We would like to get done earlier if we can but we have to wait on some utility work to be completed,” she said, adding that the city of Myrtle Beach is handling the utility work in the project. “They still have some electrical lines that are overhead that have to be buried.”
Crews started moving utilities underground on Third Avenue South in September 2012. The SCDOT project involved widening portions of a 1.2-mile section of the road from Kings Highway to U.S. 501.
The road will be widened to three lanes through business areas and will remain two lanes through residential areas. The improved street will also include sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides and will be upfitted with underground utilities and new curbs and gutters.
Levy says they plan to start some asphalt work next week and will continue to work on installing the new sidewalks and signals along Third Avenue South.
“The majority of everything is going to be done before August,” she said, with the major work slated to take place in early summer.
The Third Avenue South widening project is budgeted to cost more than $11.2 million.
Despite the later estimated completion date, Levy says they will still finish the project within budget.
Ocean Boulevard road work to wrap up next year
Phase four of the Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard streetscape project is estimated to be completed next spring.
The project involves burying utility lines from Second Avenue North to Ninth Avenue North and transforming that section of roadway into three lanes with bike lanes, new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, driveways and signaled pedestrian crosswalks.
Crews began working on the three-year roadway project in September 2014, tackling a bulk of the work during off-season months. Year two improvements began last September and focused on work from Fifth Avenue North to Ninth Avenue North, wrapping up in March.
The final stage of the project, focusing on improvements from Second Avenue North to Ninth Avenue North and completing the overhead utility conversion for the entire project, will begin this fall. The streetscape project is budgeted to cost $9,825,000. Total expenses to date add up to $5,107,846.