Picking up fast-food chicken may become more convenient in Conway before the year is over.
Construction began last week on a road that will connect Mill Pond to 16th Avenue. It will run behind, well, several restaurants that are in the chicken business: Chick-fil-A and a new Bojangles. Plus Walgreens, Dunkin’ and a new Starbucks.
Wondering what the road’s name could be?
Chicken Street. Though it’s unclear if any chickens will attempt to cross this road.
The road extension is happening for several reasons. First, it will help to alleviate the rush of traffic during nearby events at the Conway Sports and Fitness Center, it’s expected to create a safe access for pedestrians and drivers, and help with stormwater, said Conway spokesperson June Wood.
The stretch along U.S. 501 (Church Street) in front of the chicken establishments is one of the top areas for traffic collisions in the city, Wood said.
“Adding this in the rear can hopefully bring some safety concerns down on 501,” Wood said.
The project is costing the city $250,000 and could take about six months. The entire road will be 2,366 feet, or just under a half of a mile long, will have defined turn lanes, the road will be wider, and part of the project includes a detention pond. The current road is more or less a driveway and is unnamed.
There will also be sidewalks so it is pedestrian friendly, Wood said.
Much of the road expansion is located on property owned by the Jenkins family under Jenkins Properties of Conway LLC, Horry County land records show. Wood said the family granted the city a construction easement, and then the road will later be dedicated to the city.
"The Jenkins family engagement and current construction easement allowed the City of Conway to upgrade desperately needed infrastructure and we are thankful for their contribution of property for this project," Wood said.
The city’s plans for the road showroom for a Chick-fil-A site expansion. The Conway Chick-fil-A franchisee did not respond for comment.
As construction on a new Bojangles is underway alongside its current location, a Starbucks is set to move into the Bojangles building, city records state.
Mark Kiskunas with Grand Strand Bojangles said both the new Bojangles and Starbucks will have access to the new road.
The new Bojangles location will sit back from U.S. 501 to allow for the drive-thru line to weave through the parking lot, as well as better parking, Kiskunas said, adding customers in general will have better access to the restaurant and Starbucks.
The building that will become the Starbucks was the 42nd Bojangles to ever be built, Kiskunas said. The new location will be the 1,330th Bojangles location.
“Overall, it’s a huge improvement for locals and tourists alike,” Kiskunas said.
Bojangles is set to have its grand opening June 14, with giveaways and promo cards, Kiskunas said.
However, the timeline on Starbucks’ opening is still unclear.
“The timeline is hard to say as that will depend on the civil plans being reviewed and then of course that speed in which the construction takes place,” Wood said of the Starbucks.
Kiskunas said he’s “very excited” about the new Starbucks.
“To have that old store and parking lot beautified, it’s going to be nice,” he said. “It really cleans up that whole corridor.”
As for the name of the street behind the chicken restaurants, city council will give possible names to the planning commission for a review and after a name is selected, it will have to be approved by Horry County 911 to make sure there is not another name in the county that shares the new road’s possible name.
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