We call Highway 17 a bypass, but is it?

U.S. 17 in Horry County is commonly called "17 Bypass" by locals, but it's not technically a bypass.

Many people started asking questions about the road's designation when the new stop light between Socastee and Myrtle Beach was reported on last week, saying with so many traffic lights, the road is hardly a bypass.

According to Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea, 17 is not a bypass and never has been.

"When U.S. 17 was built, and Kings Highway became U.S. 17 Business, it was just sort of a natural thing to do, but it's not really a bypass," said Kruea.

Many people think U.S. 17 is a faster alternative to 17 Business, but over the years more and more stoplights have been added.

A new stoplight expected in the fall is the one going up between the Backgate Intersection and Highway 544.

Kruea said this light can actually help traffic move along.

"While there may be an additional traffic light on U.S. 17 the time that you'll save for not having to stop and wait for cross traffic at 707 and Farrow Parkway should more than make up for that additional traffic light that you'll see at Conventry Boulevard," Kruea said.

Kruea said Carolina Bays Parkway is most similar to a bypass. It runs parallel to U.S. 17 and 17 Business.