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Highway 17: Engineers turn in final plan for median

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

The final plan for a project to install a raised median on Highway 17 through the Pawleys Island business district has been turned in to the state Department of Transportation. Mark Howeler, senior staff member for the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study, said he got word of the move this week and expects an update from the agency when the study’s policy committee meets tomorrow.

The project will replace the two-way left-turn lane on 1.8 miles of highway with a raised median that has gaps for left turns and U-turns. It will also add traffic lights at the post office and the Hotel Drive/Jetty Drive intersection with Highway 17. The project has raised concerns from business owners who believe reducing left turns will encourage customers to go elsewhere.

The contract for the $3.75 million project is due to be let this summer. “Construction wouldn’t occur before Labor Day,” Hoeweler said.

David Gundling, who chairs the Citizens Coalition for Ocean Highway, said the group plans “some more aggressive action” to halt or alter the project. He declined to say what that will be.

Steve Goggans stepped down as leader of the coalition to run for Georgetown County Council against District 6 incumbent Bob Anderson in the Republican primary. Gundling said the timing of the June 10 primary won’t affect the coalition’s actions. “We just need to proceed,” he said.

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