HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Much-needed changes to Horry County’s main roads are underway. A resolution to install street lights along Highway 90 was approved Wednesday by the county’s infrastructure and regulation committee.
“Roads are congested. Schools are crowded. And floods are a real threat,” community members said. Current conditions along Highway 90 and 905 have been a years-long issue. Wear and tear and a steadily growing population are pushing the need for change against the clock.
“I’m wondering what else do we do before we have a fatality there,” Felicia Soto, task force committee member said.
Street lights and road elevation, especially on Highway 90, are the main focus.
“And widening some of those intersections nearby there – that’s at Tilly Swamp – that would get rid of the island that happened during Florence,” Andy Markunas the county engineer said.
Potential improvements have been divided into three parts: short-term, mid-term, and long-term.
The short-term phase could cost approximately $800,000 to install street lights and $30,000 to maintain along Highway 90 near East Cox Ferry Road and potentially SC 22. It would also include minor pavement radius improvements at existing intersections. This phase would take up to two years to complete.
The mid-term phase would include elevating and widening Highway 90 at Tilly Swamp Road. It would also include adding turn lanes and widening the following roads: Hillsborough, Heritage Down, Long Bay, Water Tower, Mt. Zion, Highway 1008, Bear Bluff, Old Reaves Ferry, and Monaca.
This phase is expected to cost around $35-$40 million.
Officials said the long-term phase would include starting on an early design on the full widening of Highway 90. Road widening and elevation, along with adding turn lanes will first require evaluation from engineers through a GSTATS study.
Markunas told News13 this study was just approved to be conducted in November.
“I don’t think we probably need to throw any real big money out there yet until we get the GSTATS study back to make sure we’re doing the right thing and not wasting the money,” Mark Causey, chairman of the committee and Horry County councilman said.
As more families also settle near Highway 905, leaders also hope to elevate that road near Kingston Lake and Simpson Creek. They hope these improvements will alleviate flooding and congestion to growing communities across Horry County.
Leaders would still need to determine how repairs in all three phases would be funded, which could total over $40 million and could take up to 7 years to complete.
The plans still need the state’s approval, an official design, and funding for the parts and equipment, which could take additional time due to supply chain issues.