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To combat US 17 traffic woes near Myrtle Beach, study suggests roundabouts, realigned roads

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GEORGETOWN — A traffic count was conducted on Highway 17 in 2019, and it showed that peak season daily traffic volumes on on the road range from 30,500 to 47,500 vehicles per day. Looking ahead at 2040, the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study said that projections range from 46,200 to 71,900 vehicles per day.

To help keep up with this projected increase in traffic and mitigate some of the current issues, the study has short-, medium- and long-term recommendations for the busy highway. But residents for years have been vehemently against widening it, citing worries of speeding and that simply widening the road will not fix the medley of other traffic related issues, such as difficult left turns.

GSATS held a public meeting to discuss the findings of the draft US 17 Corridor Study, which covers the Waccamaw Neck area of Georgetown County from the Waccamaw River bridge to the Horry County line, and present the recommendations on April 1. 

Before this public hearing, GSATS held several other public hearings where residents raised concerns over speeding, connectivity to other roads, drainage, stop lights and things such as sidewalks and bike paths.

Short-term recommendations, from 2020 to 2025, include removing concrete median openings and replacing with grass in the following areas:

  • US 17 at Hog Heaven Driveway

  • US 17 at Rodeway Inn and SGA Architecture Office

  • US 17 at Eagles, Channel Bluff Avenue, Georgieville Street and Atalaya Road

  • US 17 at Wesley Road North, Nicoles, Nelson Drive and Hammock Avenue

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Medium-term recommendations, from 2025 to 2035, include adding roundabouts to the following areas:

  • Kings River Road at Waverly Road
  • Kings River Road at Hagley Drive and Tyson Drive
  • Waverly Road at Petigru Drive

Long-term recommendations, from 2035 to 2040, include:

  • Widening US 17 at Bellamy Avenue to Burgess Road to six lanes to accommodate the projected 71,900 vehicles per day in 2040 and improve safety
  • Adding a traffic signal to and realigning US 17 Business with US 17 at a right angle

  • Realigning S Causeway Road with Beaumont Drive to improve the angle that S Causeway Road intersects with US 17 and provide a longer distance between signals on US 17

The full study, with a complete list of recommendations, can be found in the study itself on gsats.org.

Follow Demi Lawrence on Twitter @DemiNLawrence.

Demi Lawrence is a reporter who graduated from Ball State University. Before joining The Post and Courier, she was an intern at The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana and Indianapolis Monthly.

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