ocean outfall construction north myrtle beach

The ocean outfall construction at 18th Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach is currently underway and should take about a year to complete. Photo by Bryn Eddy / bryn.eddy@myhorrynews.com

An area of the North Myrtle Beach shore at 18th Avenue North is under construction and while the construction may look like the beginnings of a pier, it is actually part of the city’s ocean outfall program.

While construction is underway, two beach accesses are closed at 18th and 16th avenues north. It is estimated that the project will take about a year and it may cause temporary lane closures nearby throughout the year.

The purpose of the project is to move storm drain discharge further offshore by removing drainage pipes from the beach, according to the city.

“Relic drainage from SCDOT roads currently discharge directly onto the beach,” according to the city’s website. “By moving the storm drain discharge further offshore, the City is helping prevent beach erosion, and helping maintain healthy water quality in the swimming zones.”

This single construction site near the Carolina Pines Beach Club costs $35 million and is the sixth part of the city’s ocean outfall program which began in 2002 and has cost over $60 million so far.

The project will reduce pollutants and inland flooding making it safer for beachgoers.

"The North Myrtle Beach Outfall Master Plan projects at least six additional locations will be required to complete removal of the state drainage pipes from within the City," said Donald Graham, spokesperson for the city.

Ocean outfall programs are being conducted in more areas of the Grand Strand.

The city of Myrtle Beach has spent around $75 million dollars on ocean outfall projects, according to the city’s website.

The Environmental Protection Agency praised the city for its work on the 4th Avenue North ocean outfall project, which was completed in 2016.

“The outfall includes pre-cast concrete pipes that extend approximately 1,400 linear feet into the ocean and tie into a stormwater collection system constructed beneath a pedestrian boardwalk adjacent to the beach,” according to the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority.

Starting in September, another ocean outfall project is expected to begin in Myrtle Beach at 24th Avenue North thanks to $30 million from the state.

There are no ocean outfall projects currently underway in the unincorporated beaches in Horry County, Mikayla Moskov, spokesperson for the county, said. 

Reach Bryn by email or through Twitter with the handle @BrynDEddy. 


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