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Will International Drive be road to nowhere? This court will decide.

Driving International Drive from SC 90 to Myrtle Beach

Take a ride with our photographer as he travels International Drive from S.C. 90 to Myrtle Beach. Construction crews are clearing the road, after which there will be bidding for a paving contract.
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Take a ride with our photographer as he travels International Drive from S.C. 90 to Myrtle Beach. Construction crews are clearing the road, after which there will be bidding for a paving contract.

Environmentalist are challenging a federal court decision that gave the green light for construction to move forward on International Drive, threatening to delay the completion date once again.

The Coastal Conservation League and S.C. Wildlife Federation filed notice Friday that they would appeal the decision of the U.S. District Court of South Carolina Florence division in the Fourth Circuit Court in Richmond, Virginia.

The federal court sided with Horry County last month and lifted a temporary stay on construction.

Dana Beach, executive director of the league, said Monday that their intention is to prevent irreversible harm so they will ask that the temporary limitations on construction be reinstated if the appeal is granted and making way for a lengthy court process.

“I think that the fundamental principle behind the judicial system as you move through the proceedings, is you want whatever the outcome is, to be meaningful,” Beach said.

“If the judge believes that we are correct, then we don’t want the result to be -- too late, the damage is done and it can’t be reversed,” Beach said.

That’s if the court agrees to hear the appeal.

“They may say it doesn’t warrant consideration, in which case we may have other options, but I’m not sure what they are,” Beach said.

“We’re not expecting too much to change, but I wish there were a little more enlightened self-interest,” said Beach.

Despite the notice of intent and another possible stay limiting construction activity, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus said they are moving forward as planned.

“They’ve already been denied three times by the courts, it’s just another potential delay tactic on their part,” Lazarus said. “The judge released us, said our permits are in order, so we’re moving forward.”

Bids will be received on the project by Dec. 30 and without any further court delays, the road will take less than one year to build.

“By this time next year, we will be riding on the road,” Lazarus said.

The court has not indicated when they will decide whether or not to grant the appeal.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson

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