Some commuters frustrated U.S. 501 widening beach-bound not set to start until 2018

Although work is scheduled to start this week on the widening of Highway 501 going inland, commuters will have to wait until 2018 before work even begins on a lane going the other way, which has some commuters pretty upset.

The work is being done to widen 501 in both directions from Gardner Lacy Road to Waccamaw Pines Drive.

"It's frustrating to sit in the traffic when it slows down, there's also no alternate route. Once you're sitting on 501 if you're not close to 544 that's the only parallel route that will get you towards the coast," explained Carolina Forest Civic Association President Bo Ives.

Ives added that the beach bound expansion was supposed to start in 2016, but the $7 million needed just isn't there.

"When we saw that there were already $4 million applied to it, we thought that was a complete project number. We discovered it wasn't."

Some commuters said they're getting pretty fed up too.

"The residents that live here want to be able to get to the beach. I understand the fundings but the people that pay their taxes I think should be able to get to the beach quicker," said Horry County resident Lisa Hake.

Although we won't see spades in the ground until 2020 on the beach bound lanes, officials say some pre-engineering work on the southbound lane will start by 2018.

As for inbound work that begins this week, Department of Transportation officials said work will take about a year to complete and will involve some nighttime lane closures.