The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) plan to extend Carolina Bays Parkway (S.C. 31) from its existing terminus at S.C. 9 in Horry County, South Carolina to U.S. 17 Shallotte Bypass in Brunswick County, North Carolina.
SCDOT State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Project P029554 would extend Carolina Bays Parkway from its current terminus at S.C. 9 in Horry County to the North Carolina state line. NCDOT STIP Project R-5876 would extend Carolina Bays Parkway from the state line to U.S. 17 Shallotte Bypass in Brunswick County. Carolina Bays Parkway Extension is anticipated to involve the construction of a multilane, full control of access freeway, with part on new location. Full control of access means that access to Carolina Bays Parkway will only be provided via ramps and interchanges. Bridges will be installed at some cross streets and no driveway connections will be allowed.
Carolina Bays Parkway Extension Preliminary Study Area
The proposed Carolina Bays Parkway Extension project area is largely comprised of unincorporated areas in Horry and Brunswick counties, but also includes portions of some coastal towns and communities located on the inland side of the Intracoastal Waterway.
A study area is a geographical area in which information on human and natural environmental features are gathered during the preliminary planning phase. The Carolina Bays Parkway Extension study area boundary was established with consideration given to the ability to develop a full range of alternatives while also minimizing potential impacts to important environmental features. The project study area is approximately 19 miles long, with approximately five miles located in South Carolina and 14 miles located in North Carolina.
The existing primary road network includes U.S. 17 and various North Carolina and South Carolina state highway and secondary routes. There are no interstate facilities in the project area and access along existing routes is largely uncontrolled. Outlined in red in the map below, the preliminary study area is much larger than the actual amount of land that would be directly impacted by the project and is subject to change as more information about the project is collected.
This project is in the early stages of the planning process and potential corridors have not yet been developed.
PURPOSE AND NEED
The purpose of the project is to improve the transportation network in the study area by enhancing mobility and connectivity for traffic moving in and through the project area.
Traffic volumes on area roadways are expected to increase considerably by 2040, and the population within Horry and Brunswick counties has steadily increased along with the number of tourists to the area. Tourists and visitors are important to the economic vitality of both states’ coastal counties.
Growth in population, tourism and supporting services has resulted in an increase in mixed-purpose traffic on area roads. The proposed project would improve mobility on existing roadways, benefiting both local and through traffic. This project would provide a more direct route for tourist and coastal truck traffic travelling through the area. As a result, existing transportation routes would be able to convey shorter local trips more efficiently. The proposed project would also provide additional capacity, improving the flow of traffic and lessening delays on area roadways.
Carolina Bays Parkway Extension’s purpose and need will be reviewed with environmental resource and permitting agencies in the coming months. After the agencies concur on the purpose of and need for the project, preliminary corridor alternatives will be developed and presented at public meetings in the project area.
NCDOT and SCDOT are very interested in your input and comments. Please take a moment to respond to the questions related to the project's purpose and area transportation needs below.
Because a number of factors can affect a project’s schedule, it may be subject to change.
Public Meetings /Local Officials Meetings: Spring 2019
Environmental Document: Spring 2020
Public Hearings: Summer 2020
Select Alternative: Fall 2020
Final Environmental Decision Document: Summer 2021
Right-of-Way Acquisition and Construction: The SCDOT 2017-2022 STIP includes the purchase of property for the extension of Carolina Bays Parkway from S.C. 9 to the North Carolina state line beginning in 2021. Right-of-way acquisition for the portion of the project located in North Carolina is not yet programmed. The project is not yet programmed for construction.
|North Carolina||$ 367 million|
|South Carolina||$ 185 million|
|Total Cost||$ 552 million|
* Estimated Costs subject to change
What are the Steps in the Project Planning Process?
The planning process can be divided into the steps shown below. Public involvement is an important component of the planning process and opportunities, both formal and informal, will be provided throughout the process so citizens can stay informed and provide input.
Carolina Bays Parkway Extension Major Planning Steps and Milestones
1. Project Scoping (Initial Data Collection)
2. Identify the Project’s Purpose and Need
3. Develop Preliminary Corridor Alternatives
4. Hold Public Meetings
5. Select Alternatives for Detailed Study
6. Prepare Functional Design and Conduct Detailed Environmental Analysis
7. Publish Environmental Document and Conduct Corridor Public Hearings
8. Select Alternative / Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative
9. Prepare Preliminary Design, Identify Additional Avoidance and Minimization
10. Publish Final Environmental Document/Decision Document
Ms. Krista Kimmel, P.E.
Division Design Construct Engineer
N.C. Department of Transportation
5501 Barbados Boulevard
Castle Hayne, N.C. 28429
Ms. Leah Quattlebaum, P.E.
Pee Dee Regional Production Engineer
S.C. Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 191
Columbia, S.C. 29202
Ms. Liz Kovasckitz, AICP
Planning Program Manager
CALYX, an NV5 Company
6750 Tryon Road
Cary, N.C. 27518
Toll-free project information line: 1-866-841-4420 (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays)
RESOURCES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS
Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.