Conceptual design plans presented for Garden City improvements

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – More than $45 million is being invested in improving the Garden City area of ​​Horry County.

Revenues from local hospitality fees provide funding to improve roads, drainage, pedestrian and bicycle paths, improved parking and connection to beach accesses as well as more street lighting.

The plans, which include roadwork along Atlantic Avenue and the Waccamaw Parkway, were presented during a virtual meeting Thursday evening.

Project manager Mike Rutkowski of Stantec Engineering presented the concept plans for this multi-million dollar Garden City project.

Since March, Horry County leaders have been gathering community feedback on how they want that $46 million to be spent.

From moving utilities underground to turning a two-lane portion of Atlantic Avenue into a single-lane road, most plans met residents’ expectations.

“We would have this protected space for people on bikes and wider sidewalks to sit outside and lots of room for people to walk around,” Rutkowski said.

Garden City is one of the few public beaches in Horry County to offer free year-round beach access, which means spots fill up quickly.

The new plans would make better use of current parking lots and create new spaces along parts of Waccamaw Drive toward Cypress Avenue.

“We would add on-street parking where appropriate so we don’t block any aisles,” Rutkowski said.

Ryan Swaim of Dunes Realty says one of the project’s focal points he loves is improving the aesthetic appeal of downtown Garden City.

“Garden City has been popular for a long time, but a lot of our side streets are filled with parking lots and we haven’t been able to add to the aesthetic appeal,” Swaim said.

The biggest changes could be made to the heart of Garden City with the addition of better lighting, walking and parking while also addressing drainage.

“It’s your front door and you’ll have more room to walk around and a better system for the water to drain properly,” Rutkowski said.

Design plans are still in their early stages and constriction bids have yet to be sent.

The objective is to start certain phases of the project in 2023.

You can add your contribution to the concept designs by going to www.gardencitystreetscape.com.

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