S.C. 707 widening project almost 60 percent complete

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The S.C. 707 widening project is still behind schedule and the South Carolina Department of Transportation said it is 58.26 percent complete.

Construction has been happening for more than five years. The widening project starts at Enterprise Road in Horry County, where it turns into a one-lane highway and goes 9.77 miles down south.

The project ends where U.S. 17 meets the Georgetown County line.

SCDOT officials said the current work includes building sound wall foundations between Laurelwood and Knollwood streets, constructing a retaining wall north of Longwood Drive, doing grading for sidewalks and catch basins, and paving that is taking place from Bay to the county line. There are three phases of the widening project.

John Rea has lived along S.C. 707 the past 25 years, and said he hasn’t seen a road construction project of this magnitude in the area.

“We’re glad it’s getting done, we’re just ready for it to be done. It’s been frustrating at times,” Rea said, adding there has been a lack of communication between construction workers and the residents.

“You know, lane changes without notice and I know there has been a couple times we’ve left to go to work or come home and there is a ditch being dug across the whole road and they didn’t let us know, so we didn’t make (arrangements) for that,” Rea said. “And they act a little aggravated when they have to find a way for us to cross over it, but we live here. There’s only one way in and out on this street.”

There is only one way in and one way out of his house.

“You know, sometimes in the mornings you can pretty much give up trying to turn left onto 707. Highway 707, if you don’t leave the right time of day, it is backed up for miles going south and in the evening after 6 going north, it’s just back-to-back,” Rea said.

The 707 widening project is part of the RIDE II one-cent penny sales tax capital projects Horry County taxpayers voted for.

“I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes for roads and things of that nature,” Rea said. “Now you know if there’s a way we could get the tourists to pay as well, I’m all in favor of that if they could help lower my taxes.”

Horry County leaders said the goal of the project is to build a more efficient north-south route from U.S. 17 to the Socastee area to decrease traffic congestion overall.

“We’ll be glad for the relief of the traffic,” Rea said. “You kind of hate to lose the neighborly aspect, but you know that’s part of living in a growing tourist town.”

The S.C. 707 widening construction is slated to be complete in March 2018.

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