Seaboard Street in MB to be spruced up

Myrtle Beach wants to improve Seaboard Street from highway 501 to Mr. Joe White Ave.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WPDE) - The City of Myrtle Beach plans to spruce up the appearance of Seaboard Street from Highway 501 to Mr. Joe White Avenue next year. Thursday, city leaders met with business and property owners along the busy road to talk about the proposed changes.

The stretch of Seaboard Street that's slated for improvement is known for its strip clubs, tattoo shops, and industry. But now that the area has big box stores on each end, traffic is up with those traveling to Coastal Grand Mall or Seaboard Commons.

City of MB planner Kelly Mezzapelle says the road needs updating, "Anybody who's ridden on Seaboard Street lately probably notices two things right away. First of all It goes bump a bump a bump a bump a bump as you're driving down the road and if you're heading towards the mall or Wal-Mart it backs up quite a bit."

The city plans to spend about $3.8 million of mostly federal funds on improvements. It includes using 60 feet of right of way to create bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the street plus landscaping wherever possible.

"There are also some drainage issues on the road that if you look close you'll see some of the pavement is broken up. Not just in the roadway but in the parking lots of the businesses," explains Mezzapelle.

The potential changes were met with some reservations from business and property owners They have concerns about whether they would lose parking spaces, and how construction would affect customers getting to their businesses.

Ray Kline, owner of Blackbird Cycles and Scooters, says he would've preferred a center turn lane instead.

"Good idea in some aspects but in others it's not because it's not conducive to traffic flow. I think it's more of a beautification project. It doesn't need to look like main street USA," says Kline. "I don't mind the place looking better but I just want it to be conducive to our businesses."

The reason the city is doing more of a beautification project is because the federal money they have to use was approved for that type of project.

Next, the city will hold one on one meetings with business owners like Kline to get their input on the plans.

The work on Seaboard Street is part of a larger plan by the city to improve the appearance of certain areas. "We're working on some of the worst areas first. Seaboard Street is long overdue and we're tackling that one now," adds Mezzapelle.

The project is slated to begin September of 2013 and is projected to take about seven months to complete.