U.S. 17 Bypass near Hwy 544 to get another traffic light

The location where the new traffic light will be installed on Highway 17 just north of S.C. 544.

A new stoplight on Highway 17 Bypass between The Market Common and Highway 544 is expected to be up this fall.

Coventry Boulevard which starts at Farrow Parkway in The Market Common is being extended to 17 Bypass and will connect to the light.

More development and heavier traffic are two main reasons for the new stoplight and extension, according to Mike Bethea with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Bob Canales works at South Strand Ambulatory Center which is off 17 Bypass and said the only way in and out of the center is to cross 17 Bypass, which can be dangerous.

"We have about eight active ambulances going in and out, so it's a safety factor," said Canales.

Canales said whenever he leaves work he has to be extra cautious of the traffic headed up and down the busy highway.

"There's no light and there's traffic most of the time, we have to be pretty careful on getting out to go south or north," he said.

On the other side of the highway, more housing developments are going in along Coventry Boulevard, and those residents will be able to take the boulevard starting at Farrow Parkway in The Market Common directly to 17 Bypass.

Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach city spokesman said extending that boulevard will benefit the area.

"As connectivity exists you'll see more people living there and more business to serve the people in need," Kruea explained.

However, not everyone is too excited about the boulevard extension and new stoplight.

Stephen Urban lives in the neighborhood which backs up to Coventry Boulevard, the road that's being extended, and said he's worried that the boulevard will become like a mini 17 Bypass.

"We need the roads, I know we need to enlarge our community, but we're all resistant to change and I like the quietness here," Urban stated.

Garrison M.B. Land is the developer of the land surrounding the boulevard. Kruea said the developer is paying for the boulevard extension and new stoplight.

Once everything is completed, the developer will ask Myrtle Beach to take over maintaining both.