South Carolina Highway 544
|Maintained by SCDOT|
|Length:||13.9 mi (22.4 km)|
|Existed:||1956 – present|
US 17 Bus. near Surfside Beach
| US 17 near Surfside Beach
SC 707 near Socastee
SC 31 near Socastee
US 501 near Red Hill
US 501 Bus. at Red Hill
South Carolina Highway 544 (SC 544) is a major four-lane highway in Horry County, South Carolina. The highway is sometimes known as Dick Pond Road near the Socastee area. The route begins at U.S. Route 17 Business (US 17 Business) in Surfside Beach and ends at US 501 Business in Red Hill, near Conway. South Carolina Highway 544 is one of the most frequently traversed highways in the Myrtle Beach area. It runs in a south-north direction and parallels US 501 for most of its route.
Part of the current routing of SC 544 was the first route between Conway and Myrtle Beach, built in the late 1930s. When the Intracoastal Waterway was dug, the Socastee Swing Bridge in Socastee, South Carolina was also built. US 501 was signed on this route from Conway running south to Socastee. At Socastee, the road followed an east–west direction along the current route of SC 707 through Socastee, continuing through the area that is currently the Myrtle Beach International Airport, and ending near downtown Myrtle Beach on the road that is now Broadway Street. A more direct (and wider) route running diagonally between Conway and Myrtle Beach was built in the early 1960s, replacing a disused road through the former Conway Bombing and Gunnery Range. US 501 was signed on this path, and SC 544 and SC 707 were created to replace the old route of US 501.
A new bridge to be used in addition to the Socastee Swing Bridge was built in 1993. At that time, SC 544 was routed on this new road, and the former road was named Dick Pond Road in reference to a former lake near the intersection of US 17 Business and the route.
Public meetings by the South Carolina Department of Transportation took place in September 1999 to discuss the widening of SC 544 to a four-lane highway from US 501 in Conway to the Intracoastal Waterway, including sidewalks and gutters throughout most of the route. A 90-foot right-of-way was required for the expansion, and the Federal Highway Administration approved the Finding of No Significant Impact report in January 2000. In February 2001, the road was named in honor of Corporal Dennis Lyden, who was killed on the road in June 2000. Limited areas of six lanes were constructed near the intersection with Phase II of S.C. Highway 31, approved for construction in January 2002.
SC 544 is notable for traversing through many diverse areas of the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area, including Coastal Carolina University, several golf courses, many suburban bedroom communities, historic Socastee, and the tourist-oriented areas near Surfside Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
The entire route is in Horry County.
US 17 Bus. – Garden City, Myrtle Beach
|Socastee||1.8||2.9||US 17 – North Myrtle Beach, Georgetown||Full interchange|
|4.4||7.1||To SC 707 / Dick Pond Road – Socastee, Murrells Inlet|
|5.8||9.3||Benjamin E. Thrillkill, Jr. Bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway|
|6.0||9.7||SC 31 north – North Myrtle Beach||Partial interchange|
|Conway||12.4||20.0||University Boulevard||To Coastal Carolina University|
|13.5||21.7||US 501 – Myrtle Beach, Conway|
US 501 Bus. – Myrtle Beach, Conway
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Google, Inc. "South Carolina Highway 544". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=SC-544+W%2FDick+Pond+Rd&daddr=SC-544+W&hl=en&ll=33.723483,-78.948784&spn=0.239005,0.445976&sll=33.810942,-79.017663&sspn=0.014994,0.027874&geocode=FU4lAQIdiB9L-w%3BFWTzAwIdH0pK-w&mra=dme&mrsp=1&sz=16&t=p&z=12. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
- "Notice", South Carolina Department of Transportation, Horry Independent, February 3, 2000, B8.
- "House Journal", South Carolina State House of Representatives, http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess114_2001-2002/hj01/20010215.htm
- "In Our Towns", The Sun News, January 12, 2002, C2.
- Media related to South Carolina Highway 544 at Wikimedia Commons