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Murrells Inlet: County approves funds for coast-to-coast trail

By Jason Lesley
A multi-purpose path connecting Murrells Inlet and the Waccamaw River moved one step closer to reality this week as Georgetown County Council agreed to release $216,000 collected on Sunday alcohol sales in the inlet.

The funds will go to the community improvement group Murrells Inlet 2020 as part of an agreement reached in 1997 to use revenues from alcoholic beverage sales for improvements in the area east of Highway 17 Bypass. County Council Member John Thomas said the path was part of the strategic plan of Murrells Inlet 2020 and fits with Tidelands Health’s plans for two more phases of the path. Council Member Steve Goggans said the multi-purpose path would have a positive economic impact on Murrells Inlet and make the community more walkable, one of his goals for the Waccamaw Neck.

A path funded by Bike the Neck runs down both sides of Highway 17 Business through Murrells Inlet. Supporters say it would get more use if it connected to a path leading to the Waccamaw River at Wacca Wache Marina. The path, estimated at $2 million, would be called Tidelands Health Way.

With more use, the bike path through Murrells Inlet could become the focus of improvement plans. Potholes need filling, sand and gravel needs to be swept and lane markings need to be reinstalled, said Linda Ketron, leader of Bike the Neck. Supporters have suggested consolidating the two paths into one 10-foot wide path with better markings to improve safety. The county would have to agree to take over maintenance of the road for that to happen, according to Mike Wooten, area highway commissioner.

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