052517 Roads: County drops Kings River widening from long-range projects
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The idea of widening the road raised concern among residents.

Roads: County drops Kings River widening from long-range projects

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

A proposal to widen Kings River Road to four lanes has been removed from Georgetown County’s list of proposed projects for a long-range regional transportation plan, according to the county planning director.

Red flags along Kings River Road at Heritage Plantation sparked concerns that the widening was about to start. It turned out they were flagging the irrigation system at the golf course, Karol Anderson, a Heritage resident who chairs the Georgetown County Republican Party, told the county GOP club this week.

Some party members, like others in the community, were concerned after Boyd Johnson, the county planning director, told County Council last month that Kings River Road was among the projects that would be submitted for the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study’s 2040 plan, although he didn’t believe it would be built.

Some people weren’t so sure. Council Member John Thomas said he got a fiery email from a homeowners association president about the idea. “There are no plans,” Thomas told the Republican club. “We are not even considering widening it.”

That was good news to Ed Allen, who lives on Kings River Road in Hagley. He told Thomas he is still concerned about speeding. “They go by me at 60 miles an hour,” he said.

The idea of Kings River Road as an alternative to Highway 17 through Pawleys Island goes back to the 1970s, but planners note that new developments didn’t end up as large as originally forecast.

“That would have a dramatic impact on our community,” said Bob Hesterfer, president of the property owners association in Ricefields. But he told a recent meeting of the Waccamaw Neck Council of POAs, “I doubt whether it will ever happen in our lifetime.”

Or even after that, if Thomas has his way. He hopes to put the idea to rest. However, the Republicans’ monthly “morning group” has it on the agenda for its meeting on June 23. They have invited Mark Hoeweler, senior staff member for the area transportation study, and Council Member Steve Goggans to talk about Kings River Road and a proposed road across the Waccamaw River in Horry County.

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