Kings Highway improvements pushed back - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Kings Highway improvements pushed back

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - What was supposed to be a two-year, two-phase project to revamp a portion Kings Highway has changed.

The first part was supposed to be completed by this summer. Plans were pushed back, and officials with the City of Myrtle Beach say construction will not start until fall of this year.

The improvement project will happen between Third Avenue South and Eighth Avenue North. The goal is to make the stretch of road more appealing and inviting for people to walk along. To do this, the City of Myrtle Beach plans to add new landscaping, widen the sidewalk, add bike lanes, construct new medians, add street lamps, and add more cross walks.

City of Myrtle Beach Engineer Patrick Sadek says the project was delayed because the city is still working to get approval from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

After their most recent meeting, the city and the agency decided to combine the two phases into one. Sadek says this could save the city tens of thousands of dollars during construction, and will reduce the impacts to traffic and the community. People who run businesses along the stretch of Kings Highway say they prefer it.

"I think it's much better since they are going to tear it up anyway. They can do the construction all at once, instead of dragging it out," says Mark Wilson, owner and operator of Mark's Locks & Keys. "It's always terrible when you mess up business 17 regardless."

When the project starts in October, there will be several lane closures. The road between Third Avenue South and Eighth Avenue North will be reduced from four lanes to just two.

Sadek says this section of Kings Highway has a lot of traffic, and thinks it could benefit the most from the transformation. The ultimate goal is to plant the seed for future projects.

"Our goal right now is to make this one successful, so people can look at it," Sadek said. "They see a difference, and that will lead the way to other project on Kings Highway."

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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