Traffic signal approved on Highway 501

If you travel between Conway and Myrtle Beach, this will likely affect you.

The SC Department of Transportation approved a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 501 and East Cox Ferry Road.

That's where an 18-year-old was killed in 2007. Ever since, her parents have been working hard to protect others who cross through this busy intersection.

Debra Norris leaves to go pick her son up from school, headed towards that dreaded intersection she goes through everyday - Highway 501 and East Cox Ferry Road.

"Sometimes you sit there for 10-15 minutes. You can't get out there. You never can get out there," said Debra.

But it's not the wait that makes Debra want a traffic signal. It's the danger, made apparent by a wooden cross that sits in the median. It's in honor of her 18-year-old daughter, Desiree Norris, who died in an accident there a year and a half ago.

Debra started a movement for a stop light.

"It's not just for my daughter, it's for my son. He's going to be driving next year, and I wanted to make sure there was a light there before he was driving, especially because the high school is up the road then, and I wanted to make sure he was going to be safe."

With petitions and letters, she pushed and pleaded until she received a letter from the SCDOT, stating after a study, transportation officials recommend a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 501 and East Cox Ferry Road.

SCDOT officials counted how many vehicles go through the intersection during the busy times of the day, between 7am-9am and 2pm-6pm. They counted a total of 19,620.

Because of the volume, the traffic patterns, and number of accidents, traffic officials recommend a stop light.

The SCDOT will have to post advance warning to drivers coming around the Highway 501 curve so they don't hit traffic stopped at the light. Traffic officials do say there's an adequate distance before the stop light for people coming around the Highway 501 curve.

No word yet of when the signal will go up, but Debra looks forward to that day.

"Oh yeah, we will probably be down there with cameras," said Debra.

The DOT is working with the city of Conway and Horry County on the traffic signal since the roads cross through both jurisdictions.