To the editor,
It’s been two months now since Hurricane Florence visited us. Most of the carnage is pretty evident now for those that continue to deal with the flooding damage.
We have been blessed to have so many people from our community and others from miles away come in and uplift those in need. The government’s response both local, state and national have been very encouraging.
I understand our local delegation and the SCDOT are starting to look at U.S. 501 and are hopefully serious about a major improvement to the Lake Busbee causeway.
Opening up the road with a new bridge or bridges and widening will accomplish both better traffic flow and improve the flooding threat upstream from U.S. 501.
The water was a total of 18 inches higher north of U.S. 501 business at the height of the flood. Without the damming effect of both U.S. 501 roads, there is no telling how much lower the water would have been upstream.
Another thing needs to be said as I reflect on how Conway was treated and what was done in the evacuation process for Florence and the last few hurricanes.
We have all been sold on S.C. 22 as being so essential as a bypass for Conway and an evacuation route, yet when the order was given they crammed all that traffic down Conway’s throat on U.S. 501 and U.S. 378 and shut down our roads and businesses for several days.
All that traffic could have been routed on S.C. 31 and sent out S.C. 22 past Conway. With no stop lights and multiple access points from all up and down the beach, it appears to me that would have been a lot more efficient process.
It seems that for all the roads we spent so much money on to be so important, that it’s strange they don’t seem to be of much use in a major crisis like a Category 4 Hurricane, especially when you look at the first money that was spent was on S.C. 22 and S.C. 31 in Ride 1 and 2.
Here we are 20 years later and we still have not done anything about U.S. 501. Yet all we can hear is I-73 is going to fix all this.
We have spent over a billion dollars on roads and bridges east of the Waccamaw, yet when disaster strikes we dump all the traffic on our little roads named U.S. 501 and U.S. 378.
U.S. 378 is so important that it is not even on the 10-year SCDOT plan for any improvements. It is interesting how it has been four-laned from Columbia all the way up to Marion county, leaving the last 30 miles to Conway unimproved. The traffic count in Horry County on U.S. 378 is 10 times the count in Florence county.
I say all that to say this. We are grossly under-represented on infrastructure in the Conway area, and it is time to make it right.
Jimmy P. Jordan Conway