CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Improvements are finally coming to one of the most dangerous intersections in Horry County.
Between backed up traffic down Highway 501, to last-minute lane changes before a confusing intersection, Highway 501 and East Cox Ferry Road in Conway can be an everyday headache for Horry County drivers.
But it’s not just a headache. It can be deadly.
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety said in 2017, 2018, and 2019, throughout each year, there were over 100 accidents at the intersection. In 2019, a person was killed.
But the DOT said upgrades are coming.
“So anytime we look at improving intersections we look at a lot of these same type of corrective measures. As far as offsetting left-turn lanes, adding additional turn lanes,” Project Manager Stacey Johnson said.
He added there are multiple measures the department looks at when it comes to how to make this intersection safer.
“So the left turn lane, we offset it. One, it improves sight distance, so it allows anyone taking that left, to better see the oncoming traffic. And two, it allows for a shorter crossover distance to get onto West Cox Ferry,” he said.
DOT is also adding improved signs, reminding drivers not to turn right on red and to wait for the green arrow to turn left.
Just recently crews switched out the traffic lights at the intersection as part of the project.
And as part of the Ride III project, Highway 501 northbound and southbound from Gardner Lacy to Highway 544 will be expanded to three lanes rather than just two.
But Johnson said while there’s still a long road ahead, drivers should look forward to these improvements.
“Really the most important change we have is adding that third lane, which is really the purpose of the whole corridor.”
The new lane is expected to be constructed in the fall of 2024.
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