South Carolina Highway 707
|Maintained by SCDOT|
|Length:||12.53 mi (20.17 km)|
|Existed:||1970s – present|
US 17 Bus. near Murrells Inlet
| US 17 near Murrells Inlet
SC 544 near Socastee
|North end:||US 17 in Myrtle Beach|
South Carolina Highway 707 is a highway in Georgetown and Horry Counties, South Carolina in the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area that begins at U.S. Highway 17 Bypass across from Farrow Parkway near Socastee, South Carolina and terminates at U.S. Highway 17 Business in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.
South Carolina Highway 707 began as an unpaved cow path in an area that was once largely rural. In the late 1970s, the route that South Carolina Highway 707 currently takes was previously signed as South Carolina Highway 544 from Murrells Inlet to the current intersection of Dick Pond Road in Socastee. At that time, South Carolina Highway 707 began at Socastee, followed Socastee Boulevard and parts of then-unbuilt US 17 Bypass north of the Myrtle Beach International Airport before terminating at U.S. Highway 501 on the route of the current Robert Grissom Parkway.
Much of the landscape traversed through the area was farmland until the 1980s when suburban growth began to occur outside of Myrtle Beach. Most of the growth around the area has continued into the 2000s, with development of golf courses, neighborhoods, and subdivisions being common in pockets along the fourteen-mile length. St.James High School opened on the highway near Burgess, South Carolina in 2002.
Because the area has experienced rapid growth within recent years, and because of increased traffic expected from the completion of Carolina Bays Parkway to S.C. 707, the South Carolina Department of Transportation has decided to widen the highway from near Enterprise Road south of South Carolina Highway 544 to U.S. 17 at the Horry-Georgetown county line. Much of the 9.2-mile project is being funded through the one-percent Horry County sales tax increase by the 'Riding on a Penny' program. The first public meeting on the road project was held in August 2008. Right of way acquisitions were set to begin late in 2010 with construction starting in spring or summer of 2011.
However, the Carolina Bays Parkway extension and the S.C. 707 widening were combined into one project in 2010, and in March of that year changes were made to plans for the parkway. After many delays, a groundbreaking for both projects took place November 6, 2013 at the future interchange of S.C. 544 and Carolina Bays Parkway. The $105 million S.C. 707 project was expected to be finished in Spring 2017.
Farrow Parkway interchange
The intersection of South Carolina Highway 707 with U.S. Highway 17 at Farrow Parkway, known as the "back gate" of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, has seen increased traffic with the constuction of The Market Common, expansion of the Myrtle Beach International Airport and other development on and near the former base. One of the first priorities for Horry County's program 'Riding on a Penny' was to build a grade-separated interchange connecting the two roads together. The projected cost of the project was $49,500,000. The recommended configuration of the interchange, due to limiting right-of-way space and heavy traffic demands, is a single-point urban interchange. Also, U.S. 17 must go over a 35-foot-high, 1,200-foot long bridge because the soil cannot support a stronger bridge without work that would have delayed the project. As of April 2010, the projected cost had more than doubled to $107 million. Interchange construction began June 6, 2011, and the projected completion date was August 2014. Soil conditions and weather caused many delays. On October 23, 2014, a ribbon cutting took place for the completion of what became a $121.7 million project. The southbound lanes opened earlier that week, and the northbound lanes were opening the next week. Pavement markings, signs and other details would not be complete until November. The project also included more turn lanes on U.S. 17, frontage roads, and the addition of Coventry Boulevard as an alternate route around the interchange.
US 17 Bus. – Murrells Inlet, Garden City
|0.40||0.64||US 17 – Myrtle Beach, Georgetown|
|Horry||Socastee||SC 31||Future interchange (under construction, to be completed in 2017)|
|SC 544 – Red Hill, Surfside Beach||Interchange; access to/from westbound SC 544 via Dick Pond Road|
|Myrtle Beach||12.53||20.17||US 17 / Farrow Parkway – Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Springmaid Beach|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- South Carolina Department of Transportation: Statewide Highways 2012. Specifics: . Files: .
- Wilson, Zane (2010-07-12). "S.C. 31's winding path hits new turn in Myrtle Beach area". The Sun News. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- Information sheet on the widening project from Horry County
- Rodriguez, Jason M. (2013-11-07). "Official: Ground breaking for S.C. 707 widening and S.C. 31 extension to restore faith in the system". The Sun News.
- Lauer, Claudia (2010-07-16). "Wary Residents Question Roadwork". The Sun News. Retrieved 2010-07-16.
- Rodriguez, Jason (2014-10-23). "Back gate bridge ribbon cutting: 'We’re showing them that we’re making it happen'". The Sun News.
- Handout on the interchange project from Horry County http://www.ridingonapenny.com/handout-060608.pdf
- Mike Cherney, "Traffic relief on schedule: Longer-than-expected overpass likely to push project past $50 million mark," The Sun News, June 5, 2008.
- Lorena Anderson, "Myrtle Beach wary as back gate overpass gets under way," The Sun News, April 17, 2010.
- Dickerson, Brad (2011-06-02). "Back gate work kicking off soon in Myrtle Beach". The Sun News. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- O'Dare, Tom (November 7, 2013). "Highways 31 and 707 finally get go-ahead". Conway, SC: myhorrynews.com. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
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