Wednesday, February 26, 2014
It was standing room only on Thursday, Feb. 20, as state and county officials provided an update to members of the Greater Burgess Community Association on the 707 widening project, the linked extension of the Carolina Bays Parkway and the Glenns Bay Road project.
Mike Barbee, project manager for the SC Department of Transportation, noted over the last 15 to 16 years, SCDOT has invested $1.6 billion, but the three projects that affect the South Strand represent an expenditure of some $400 million.
He reiterated that the project to extend S.C. 31 beyond S.C. 544 to S.C. 707 would ease traffic along 544 and U.S. 17.
“We expect the contractor to be ready to go on this,” he said, of the roadway that would meet 707 just south of Moss Creek Road.
The 707 widening project is estimated to cost between $100 and $105 million, which includes the widening as well as design and clearing.
In the spring, the main widening is expected to get underway, said Leah Quattlebaum, a project manager with the state agency. She showed slides of much of the cleaning and grubbing that has eliminated some of the trees and brush that was in the right of way.
The road will be extended from a two lane to a five lane road with curbs and gutters to U.S. 17 in Georgetown County.
Many of the questions from the more than 200 people who crowded into the South Strand Recreation Center concerned access to The Lakes from Holmestown Road, and Quattlebaum assured the group that access to the area always would be maintained.
Funding for the projects, all of which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017, will come from the state, the infrastructure bank and Horry County’s Ride on a Penny tax.
Other areas of concern expressed by residents included new traffic lights — one has been added at 707 and Scipio Lane.
Attendees also were assured that there would be regular updates on the projects.
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