Friday, January 12, 2024 Blog · News

Bucksport — share your concerns!

by Lily Abromeit

If you don’t want a four-lane highway coming through Bucksport, tell Horry County! If you want to see US 701 S widened, speak up now, because it’s not on the current list of projects. Share your thoughts now before the projects are on the ballot in November. 

Your voice matters! 

The proposed road project list for Horry County is not yet final. This comment period is your chance to have your opinions heard on where your tax dollars should go for the next 25 years. 

Commenting is easy! 

The Bucksport RIDE IV open house will be February 7 from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the James R. Frazier Center (1370 Bucksport Rd.). Horry County staff will have comment cards available at the event for you to submit your questions, comments, and recommendations. 



Below you’ll find background information and talking points. These are suggestions for what you can say to help Horry County officials understand what you want to see for our community. 


  • Horry County Council is considering a 25-year transportation tax to replace the RIDE III penny sales tax (8-year capital project sales tax) that is set to expire next year. 
  • Horry County will be committed to the final list of road projects and only those projects for the lifespan of the tax. With the county growing so quickly, it’s hard to predict where the need will be 20 years from now.  
  • The capital project sales tax (RIDE penny sales tax) termed at 8 years instead of 25 years allows for more frequent re-evaluation of the county’s needs. 
  • The county’s most pressing needs right now are for improvements to existing roads and bridges. Hurricane Florence, Tropical Storm Idalia, and the recent winter storms that closed more than 20 roads, and schools as a result, are perfect examples of why we need improvements to reduce flooding before building new highways. 

SC Highway 22 Extension 

  • The project used to be called the Southern Evacuation Lifeline (“SELL”). US Army Corps has changed the name because it is not truly an evacuation route. 
  • This would be a 28-mile, 4-lane interstate-standard highway with price tag of $1.5-2.5 billion. 
  • The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) expired in 2018. SCDOT has contracted a consultant to restart the EIS process, though a kickoff has not yet been announced. 
  • The route is still undecided, but it was originally planned to connect SC Hwy 22 to US 701 South to SC Hwy 707 or US 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet area. There are 16 possible routes with all but 6 routes proposed through Bucksport. 
  • The likely route would have a bridge connecting Bucksport to Burgess at SC Hwy 707 near Salem Rd/Freewoods Farm area.  
  • This highway would induce sprawl in western Horry County, especially in the historic and culturally significant communities of Bucksport and Burgess, and the larger Pee Dee Highway area, similar to the explosion of growth along Hwy 90 corridor after the widening of International Drive. Yet, International Drive was only 5 miles of a four-lane highway. 
  • Impacts on hundreds of acres of Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, wetlands, streams, and Waccamaw River which pose serious ramifications for area that already sees repetitive major flooding. 
  • With the reversal of lanes in emergency situations, hurricane evacuations can be safely managed and always have been efficient. 
  • There is a proposed alternative river crossing called the Lake Busbee Bypass that would connect US 701 in Sandridge to SC Hwy 544, estimated at $362 million. This road may alleviate local traffic issues versus serving only tourists and development. 


  • The same results could be achieved with cheaper upgrades to SC 38 and US 501. 
  • I-73 would cost over the $2 billion and would run alongside existing roads but cut through family farms and hundreds of acres of pristine freshwater wetlands along the Little Pee Dee River. 
  • Roads it would bypass aren’t crowded: US 501 north of Marion is 4 lanes with “at grade” intersection (no stoplights or stop signs). 
  • Funding this project would come at the expense of more urgent and beneficial projects, such as upgrades to I-26, I-95, and other congested highways. 
  • The new stretch would not address traffic on local roads of the Grand Strand, would connect to SC 22 west of Conway to North Myrtle Beach, and not any roads in Myrtle Beach.


For more information, contact Becky Ryon at [email protected] or 843-349-4089


Contact Us

[email protected] · 843.723.8035

Stay Up-To-Date

Sign up for the latest news from the Coastal Conservation League and find out how you can get involved in our efforts.