Myrtle Beach stormwater outfall project work to begin in September

After being delayed a year, work is expected to begin shortly after Labor Day on the construction of a deepwater ocean outfall system at Fourth Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. The project is expected to take about a year, city spokesman Mark Kruea said.

The project will combine nine existing stormwater drainage pipes that empty at the beach into two 84-inch pipes that would run underneath the sea bed and out more than 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. The project will remove pipes from Eighth Avenue North to First Avenue South.

The city had to postpone construction of the large-diameter pipes by one year when bids from contractors came in more than $2 million higher than originally anticipated. Engineers last year estimated work would cost $8 million.

This year the city accepted a bid from Houston-based Orion Marine Group to do the work for $11.9 million.

“It’s still more than we planned to spend, but it’s doable,” Kruea said.

City Council approved a loan agreement, which will be repaid over the next 20 years at 2 percent interest, according to the ordinance.

City residents saw a 75-cent monthly increase in their stormwater fees to pay for the project last July.