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Murrells Inlet: Agencies review permits for Jetty View boardwalk
By Jackie R. Broach
Design work is complete and construction could be under way as early as this summer for a project that would increase public access to the waterfront and bring new business to restaurants on the south end of Murrells InIet.
The news was received with excitement this week at Murrells Inlet 2020’s spring Chowder Talk. The twice-annual community gathering at Inlet Affairs gives inlet residents a chance to get updates from the community revitalization group on inlet happenings and projects of concern to the community.
About 140 people were in the audience on Tuesday night.
It was at a Chowder Talk last year that people got their first look at plans for the project, Jetty View, which was proposed as the south end’s answer to the Marsh Walk. Now, public notice of the project has been issued and public comments are being accepted through March 23 by the S.C. Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.
“God willing and the creek don’t rise, it could be ready for construction by the summer,” said Sue Sledz, Murrells Inlet 2020 executive director. But that will hinge on what the restaurants involved decide.
“I know Nance’s prefers that because they’re working with their oystermen back there in the fall,” Sledz said. That’s when oyster harvesting season starts and it stretches through the winter.
Jetty View is a walkway that will be 10 feet wide and extend about 700 feet along Allston Creek from the crab dock at Morse Park Landing past the Hot Fish Club Restaurant and Gazebo Bar, Captain Poo’s Bar and Grill and Nance’s Creekfront Restaurant.
“The landing will not be closed,” Sledz stressed to the crowd. “I don’t know who keeps starting that rumor, but that boat landing will stay open.”
Jetty View will start as an oyster tabby walkway and switch to a timber structure for a ways in the middle behind Captain Poo’s. A floating dock is also proposed.
Like the Marsh Walk, Jetty View will be used as a marketing tool to draw tourists to the inlet and keep them there longer, hopefully spending money with the businesses along the walkway — something the Marsh Walk on the north end has been successful at for more than a decade.
The design, permitting and engineering of the project are estimated to cost about $20,000, while construction should come in at about $235,000. Murrells Inlet 2020 received a $19,000 grant from the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for the project and will also use funds it receives from revenue collected from Sunday liquor permits and about $45,000 it has on hand from fund-raising efforts to extend the Veterans Pier. The pier project came to a halt because it lacked parking.
The pier and Jetty View are “both about public access for the marsh, and our accountant has been telling us for several years that we needed to spend that money,” Sledz said. Redirecting it toward Jetty View seemed like the best option.
The owners of the restaurants along Jetty View will share the rest of the cost for the project.
Officials are working now with the owners to obtain easements for construction. They will turn over ownership of the area designated for the walkway to Georgetown County, ensuring public access to the waterfront.