South Carolina Highway 22
|Maintained by SCDOT|
|Length||28.2 mi (45.4 km)|
|Existed||2001 – present|
|West end||US 501 near Aynor|
|East end||US 17 near Briarcliffe Acres|
South Carolina Highway 22 (SC 22), also known as the Conway Bypass and Veterans Highway, is a four lane freeway that connects US 501 north of Conway, South Carolina to US 17 in Myrtle Beach. The road was opened to traffic on May 4, 2001, six months ahead of schedule. There is speculation that it could become part of Interstate 73 in the future. The road largely meets Interstate Highway standards, but in order to support increased Interstate traffic, its shoulders would need to be expanded to standard width.
In 1994, the original contract with Fluor Daniel called for six lanes from US 17 to SC 905 and four lanes the rest of the way to US 501. This money depended on a one-cent sales tax devoted to road funding, but voters turned that down.
A bridge was built over the Intracoastal Waterway near Briarcliffe Acres, but it remained the "Bridge to Nowhere" for three years because there was no money to build the road. In February 1999, the South Carolina Senate passed a bill naming the bridge for Billy Alford, state highway commissioner from 1990 to 1994 and commission chair in 1993.
On February 24, 1999, the South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission approved $95 million to make the bypass four lanes. Two years earlier, since money was short, the bypass had been reduced to two lanes beyond SC 90, though the $291.3 million project had six lanes to SC 31.
On March 4, 1999, The Joint Bond Review Committee approved selling bonds for the money approved in February. Widening the bridges was considered, since some believed that the road could need six lanes in only a few years.
In June 2000, the first section of the Conway Bypass opened 17 months sooner than expected despite flooding from Hurricane Floyd. In November 2000, the section from SC 90 to SC 905, including a 29-foot-high bridge over the Waccamaw River, opened 13 months sooner than planned. The final section opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony in May 2001.
South Carolina Highway 22 is slated to be upgraded to interstate standards and eventually become the southernmost terminus of Interstate 73. Interstate 73 will begin where SC 22 starts at US 17 near Briarcliffe Acres. It will then proceed northwest crossing the proposed routing of Interstate 74 (currently SC 31, the Carolina Bays Parkway). After passing Conway, Interstate 73 will leave SC 22 at a new interchange to be constructed two miles (3.2 km) west of US 701, and will then use a new highway to be built between SC 22 and SC 917 north of Cool Spring. The "I-73 Intermediate Traffic and Revenue Study" by C&M Associates, dated February 2016, was to be presented to state transportation officials March 24, 2016. It included upgrades to SC 22. RIDE III, if approved by voters, would also provide funding for the Southern Evacuation Lifeline.
The current interchange that serves as the western terminus of SC 22 with U.S. 501 is slated to be the starting point for the proposed Southern Evacuation Lifeline, a proposed 28-mile (45 km) limited-access highway which would allow a more direct route west from the southern Strand, while simultaneously, along with SC 22, completing a beltway around the Myrtle Beach area.
The entire route is in Horry County.
|Aynor||0.0||0.0||US 501 – Aynor, Marion, Conway||Western terminus; hybrid interchange consisting of four ramps; three ramps are controlled-access, one is not: the ramp from westbound SC 22 to southbound US 501 crosses US 501's northbound lanes and median at‑grade and merges with the left lane of southbound US 501.|
|I-73 north||Future interchange (unfunded)|
|||4.3||6.9||SC 319 – Aynor||Diamond interchange|
|||7.6||12.2||US 701 to SC 410 – Loris, Conway||Four ramp folded diamond interchange, including a loop ramp from US 701 to eastbound SC 22|
|||18.5||29.8||SC 905 – Longs, Conway||Four ramp folded diamond interchange, including a loop ramp from westbound SC 22 to SC 905|
|||22.6||36.4||SC 90 – Little River, Conway||Four ramp folded diamond interchange, including a loop ramp from eastbound SC 22 to SC 90|
|North Myrtle Beach||26.5||42.6||SC 31 to SC 9 – Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Wilmington||Cloverstack interchange|
|Intracoastal Waterway||28.0||45.1||William H. Alford Bridge|
|Briarcliffe Acres||28.2||45.4||US 17 / Kings Road – Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach||Eastern terminus; trumpet interchange; Kings Road crosses US 17 at‑grade within the interchange.|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Google (June 2, 2013). "South Carolina Highway 22" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Morris, Robert (August 16, 2009). "New Lanes in I-73 effort". The Opinion Blog. The Sun News. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Morris, Robert (January 17, 2010). "Brown's retirement spreads the I-73 burden". The Opinion Blog. The Sun News. Archived from the original on July 10, 2010. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Zane Wilson, "DOT commits $95 million for Conway Bypass lanes," The Sun News, February 25, 1999.
- Zane Wilson, "Bridge to Nowhere to Get Name," The Sun News, February 22, 1999.
- Zane Wilson, "South Carolina Approves Bond Sale to Pay for Conway Bypass," The Sun News, March 5, 1999.
- "Conway Bypass / Veterans Highway (SC 22), SC, USA". Retrieved 2010-03-30.
- "Bill 291, South Carolina General Assembly, 115th Session, 2003-2004". Retrieved 2010-03-30.
- "Conservationists Find I-73 Route Acceptable". The Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. May 31, 2006. p. B3. ISSN 1061-5105.
- Wilson, Zane (May 31, 2006). "A Route at Last". The Sun News. Myrtle Beach, SC. p. A1. OCLC 27119790.
- Hudson, Audrey (2016-03-23). "Study links SC 22, southern evacuation route, to build I-73". The Sun News. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
- Moore, Graeme (2009-09-08). "DOT studies hurricane evacuation route". WPDE. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
Route map: Google
- Media related to South Carolina Highway 22 at Wikimedia Commons