Coventry Boulevard, the new road south of the back gate bridge off U.S. 17 Bypass, should open to traffic within the next two months, a Myrtle Beach city official said.
“They’re looking at after the first of the new year,” said Mark Kruea, spokesman for the city. “The road should be completed this month, but City Council still must sign off on it.”
The new road was designed to re-route drivers south of the U.S. 17 Bypass/S.C. 707 intersection who wanted to head to The Market Common. It will help traffic avoid the new off ramp at the back gate bridge. About 70,000 vehicles travel through the U.S. 17 Bypass/S.C. 707 intersection daily, which prompted state and county officials to build the back gate bridge. The bridge opened to traffic in October.
About 43,500 vehicles per day pass by the future Coventry Boulevard intersection with the bypass.
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The Coventry Boulevard project is estimated to cost up to $4 million, and is designed to extend Coventry Boulevard – across from Esso Road – through the Emmens Preserve neighborhood near The Market Common to connect it with U.S. 17 Bypass.
The project is being paid for by the owners of the Clemson tract of property located on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.
Tim Collins, assistant resident maintenance engineer with SCDOT, said work was held up at Coventry as the back gate bridge opened its north- and south-bound lanes.
“We’re doing the inspection work because it’s inside our right of way,” Collins said. “They had some work at the back gate that was going to require some lane closures, so we just asked the contractor to hold off doing any lane closures in his work zone until the back gate was opened up.”
Construction on the road was expected to be complete by early summer, but officials at Thomas & Cutton pushed it back to the fall.
Kruea said the project is expected to improve traffic flow.
“Generally speaking, the more connectivity, the better,” Kruea said.