MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) –Leaders from different parts of Horry County came together Monday to talk about the need for the Ride III Project ahead of the November election.
The project consists of 15 road repair and construction projects throughout Horry County.
Community leaders say the area needs this project to ensure growth, but it’s feared people won’t show up to the polls because they don’t like the major party presidential candidates, and that would mean fewer people voting on local issues.
It’s a project North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jeri McCumbee says promises safety economic growth, and improved quality of life.
“This is really the only way we’re going to get the funding for the roads that we need. There is no plan b. This is it,” said McCumbee.
The roads in the project are locally owned roads. So, neither the state nor the government will pay.
“We think that upwards of half or more could be paid by tourist. So, if we want the tourist to pay for the roads they’re going to drive on, Ride 3 is the right answer,” said Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean.
Dean says the project would place a 1% tax on retail sales, prepared food and beverages, and accommodations for eight years.
Chairman of the Grand Strand Business Alliance Steve Chapman says it’s something guests have asked for because, he says, traffic patterns in the county now aren’t good for business.
“We need to grow the shoulder season. When we want people to come in from Charlotte and Raleigh and some of these other areas just for a weekend, they’re not willing to wait that long a period of time for just a weekend stay, and if we really want to grow that, our biggest need is that we need to make sure we have the roads to get them to and from, in and out quickly,” said Chapman.
Dean says the project would also help with evacuation routes, something we recently had to look at with Hurricane Matthew.
Here’s a breakdown of the roads that would see construction: