Harrelson Boulevard

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Harrelson Boulevard
Harrelsonblvdmap.png
Length 1.7 mi (2.7 km)
east end
US 17 Bus. near Myrtle Beach
Major
junctions
Robert Grissom Parkway
US 17
west end US 501 / River Oaks Dr. near Pine Island

Harrelson Boulevard is a four-lane highway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina named for Myrtle Beach's first mayor Leroy Harrelson Sr., who was elected to office in 1938. It starts at George Bishop Parkway, crosses the Intracoastal Waterway and U.S. 17 and goes to Myrtle Beach International Airport and runs near Coastal Grand Mall. The highway is also the southern terminus for Grissom Parkway. It replaced the two-lane Jetport Road.

As part of the project to expand the Myrtle Beach International Airport, Harrelson Boulevard was extended to U.S. 17 Business, with the official opening ceremony January 26, 2012.[1][2]

Fantasy Harbour bridge[edit]

The Economic Development Industrial Cluster Act of 1996 let local governments in South Carolina use admissions tax revenues for road improvements and other infrastructure projects. Fantasy Harbour, a group of attractions off U.S. 501 west of the Intracoastal Waterway, could use such a tax to repay loans from a "state infrastructure bank" for a proposed $15 million bridge from there over the waterway to U.S. 17.[3][4]

On August 21, 1997, Myrtle Beach City Council saw a Jetport Road master plan which called for an $10.9 million upgrade, with a new four-lane road parallel to the runway at Myrtle Beach International Airport, connecting the planned Fantasy Harbour bridge with Kings Highway at 29th Avenue South by late 1999. The new road would also intersect the planned Central Parkway. Interchanges would come later; stop lights were planned at U.S. 17, though by 2005 an interchange would be necessary there.[5] On January 26, 1999, at the request of Burroughs & Chapin, the city council voted to contribute to upgrading Jetport Road to provide access to the new mall. Other funding came from the Airport Trust Fund.[6][7] As of December 1999, the plan was for bids on the $6 million replacement for Jetport Road by March 2000, with completion in summer 2001.[8]

In February 2001, Horry County officials voted to ask the State Infrastructure Bank for $173 million for South Carolina Highway 31, a connector from the parkway to North Myrtle Beach, and a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway at Fantasy Harbour. The state wanted the county to match 10 percent of that amount. The portion for the Fantasy Harbour bridge was expected to come in part from the Fantasy Harbour admissions tax. The interchange at U.S. 17 and Harrelson Boulevard, which would connect to the bridge, was already being built.

The Infrastructure Bank chose not to provide money for the projects at that time, but did approve $135 million in December 2001.

On October 15, 2002, state highway officials approved $63 million for the "Main Street Connector" and the Fantasy Harbour bridge. The Fantasy Harbour bridge still had a number of obstacles, including potential environmental problems.[9][10][11] The interchange at U.S. Route 17 opened February 19, 2002.[12]

In July 2005, the Infrastructure Bank approved issuing $37 million in bonds for the Fantasy Harbour bridge and the North Myrtle Beach Connector.[13]

Construction began on the 1800-foot bridge in May 2007.[14]

The $46 million bridge opened July 1, 2009 more than a decade after it was first proposed.[15] This new connection bypasses the traffic across the waterway bridge on U.S. Route 501. It also provides a connection to Fantasy Harbour, Medieval Times, and Freestyle Music Park.

Extension to Kings Highway[edit]

In 1998, the Myrtle Beach City Council considered a $6 million plan to extend Harrelson Boulevard (formerly Jetport Road) to Kings Highway at 29th Avenue South as "a four-lane divided parkway with bike paths and 'gateway-style landscaping'."[16] Because of the planned mall, money for this project went to upgrading the existing road instead.[6][7]

By September 2010, work was beginning on phase one of the road's extension, an alternative to Farrow Parkway during the reworking of that road's intersection with U.S. 17.[17]

Phase two of the road's extension to Kings Highway started September 15, 2011.[18] The extension cost $8.9 million to build. A ceremony to celebrate the road's completion took place January 26, 2012, attended by Leroy Harrelson Jr., son of the city's first mayor for whom the road is named.[2]

Major Intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Horry County.

Location mi km Destinations Notes
Pine Island 0.0 0.0 River Oaks Dr. Western terminus
0.1 0.2 US 501 (Freeway) – Carolina Forest, Myrtle Beach
0.4 0.6 Bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway
Myrtle Beach 0.16 0.26 Waterside Dr.
0.17 0.27 US 17 (Freeway) – Socastee, Briarcliffe Acres
0.20 0.32 Mall Drive (Coastal Grand Mall)
0.25 0.40 Seaboard Street
0.29 0.47 Grissom Parkway Southwestern terminus of Grissom Parkway
0.31 0.50 American Way
0.34 0.55 Broadway
1.7 2.7
US 17 Bus. – Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach
Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bryant, Dawn; Saldinger, Adva; Spring, Jake (2011-01-02). "Top business stories to watch in 2011 in Myrtle Beach area". The Sun News. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b Dickerson, Brad (2012-01-26). "Extension of Harrelson Boulevard officially open". The Sun News. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  3. ^ "Legislative Update January 16, 1996, Vol. 13, No. 1". South Carolina Legislature Online. Retrieved 2009-07-09. 
  4. ^ Scheinberg, Phyllis F. (1997-03-06). "Prospects for Innovation Through Research, Intelligent Transportation Systems, State Infrastructure Banks, and Design-Build Contracting". Retrieved 2009-07-09. 
  5. ^ Katie Merx, "Planners See Jetport Road As Future Traffic Solution," The Sun News, August 22, 1997, p. 1A.
  6. ^ a b John C. Stevenson, "B&C Asks MB to Shift Jetport Road Work," The Sun News, January 22, 1999, p. A1.
  7. ^ a b Charbonee La Belle, "MB Grants B&C Request for Shift," The Sun News, January 27, 1999, p. C4.
  8. ^ Stan Choe, "City Must Decide on Funding of Road," The Sun News, December 10, 1999, p. C3.
  9. ^ Steve Jones, "Horry County, S.C., Attempts to Secure Loan to Extend Bay Parkway," The Sun News, February 22, 2001.
  10. ^ Natalie Burrowes Pruitt, "NMB Planning for Road Money," The Sun News, February 26, 2002.
  11. ^ Kevin Wiatrowski, "DOT Approves $63 Million for RIDE Projects," The Sun News, October 16, 2002, p. A1.
  12. ^ Kevin Wiatrowski, "Interchange a Fantasy No More," The Sun News, February 20, 2002, p. A1.
  13. ^ Zane Wilson, "Road-fund Request Faces Others'," The Sun News, October 20, 2005.
  14. ^ Monique Newton, "Fantasy Harbour Project on Track," The Sun News, July 13, 2007 p. A1.
  15. ^ Dawsey, Josh (2 July 2009). "Fantasy Harbour Bridge Opens for Travel in Myrtle Beach Area". The Sun News. Retrieved 7 July 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ Katie Merx, "$6 Million Plan Would Make Airport More Easily Accessible," The Sun News, June 8, 1998, p. A1.
  17. ^ Claudia Lauer, "Harrelson Boulevard work kicks up in Myrtle Beach; Back gate alternative under way," The Sun News, September 4, 2010, Section A.
  18. ^ Dickerson, Brad (2011-09-15). "Myrtle Beach Airport planning common-use system". The Sun News. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 33°41′43″N 78°55′39″W / 33.6953154°N 78.927612°W / 33.6953154; -78.927612