GEORGETOWN — What is currently an old Georgetown County dirt road just northwest of Georgetown city limits — Brick Chimney Road — will be extended as early as August 2022 to connect Highways 51 and 521, said county Public Works Director Ray Funnye.
For those driving near the Georgetown County Landfill or Detention Center, this first phase of this extension will shorten their trip to Andrews, Funnye said, by not forcing them to drive to downtown Georgetown and go back up.
Phase II of the extension, then, is currently being designed so that the extended Brick Chimney Road will eventually connect all the way out to S.C. 701. Phase II would drastically cut down on the time it takes to get from Conway to Andrews, and make it easier for drivers to avoid traffic in and around downtown, Funnye said.
"This is intended to improve the transportation mode in Georgetown County," Funnye said. "I think many people will be very happy with this new addition to our infrastructure."
Paid for out of Georgetown County impact fees specifically earmarked for it, the 2.5 mile Phase I extension began in October 2020. With traffic being such a major issue in the county, as U.S. 17 connects Horry and Georgetown Counties and sees anywhere between 30,000 and 45,000 vehicles per day on it, the need for this extension became apparent very quickly, Funnye said.
Funnye said he expects to have additional turn lanes added to S.C. 51 account for the expected increase in traffic, though as of right now, no traffic lights are necessary to add to the first extension of Brick Chimney Road. If needed, though, Funnye said over time he will be ready to bring in a traffic engineer to reevaluate that decision.