Community asked to weigh in on Murrells Inlet improvements

Community asked to weigh in on Murrells Inlet improvements
Murrells Inlet Marshwalk

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – The Murrells Inlet 2020 organization is reaching out to the community to see how it can make infrastructure improvements.

It released an Infrastructure Improvements Survey that allows the public to weigh in on what they believe is needed.

“You know one of the things that we ask through the survey is what can we do next, what’s the next big thing," said Meredith Harrison, Executive Director of Murrells Inlet 2020.

With this in mind Reporter Casey Watson crossed the street from the Murrells Inlet 2020 office to the Marshwalk and asked just that, What can they do next?

“I don’t know if putting two lanes in each way would make a difference but maybe some lanes to turn into the parking area here or maybe further down to turn into the parking areas,” Jennifer Miller, who has lived in Murrells Inlet for 4 years said.

“You just have to search for parking or park across the street and fight the cars coming down hoping you don’t get hit crossing the road,” Lauren Armstrong who is visiting Murrells Inlet said.

While some were concerned with traffic issues, one man known as Captain Mark Collins has concerns that go far beyond the Marshwalk.

“I can remember the days when it was just a fish house over here there was no boardwalk," Collins said.

Collins owns Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Watch Tour and said he has seen multiple animals entangled in the trash or injured by it.

“I think that’s probably the biggest concern that everybody needs to start thinking about is our impact on the environment,” he said. "We’re right here on the water’s edge and every day I am walking out here picking up cigarette butts, drink cups and straws.”

And this is exactly what Harrison told me she wanted to hear, how her team can work to not only improve the experience of those who visit the Inlet but how they impact the surrounding environment.

“You know we love it here,” Harrison said. “We love the way it is. We love water. We care about the preservation of the water and the natural resources that we have. We love to get out and walk and ride our bikes.”

Collins said he hopes the organization will consider adding educational materials along the Marshwalk to help make people aware of what leaving behind litter when they leave can do.

“One thing I would like to see we have these plaques and little information and stuff here it would be really nice if they had more information for the people visiting here about the impact of what all of this is right here on the water,” Collins said. “Every time the wind blows.. there it goes.. trash out into the inlet. That’s one thing we have to get proactive about. All of these businesses along here is we have to start thinking about our environmental impact on the inlet here because obviously, we aren’t going to get anything more. This is it and we have to take care of it.”

According to the survey, the improvements include:

  1. The creation of four pedestrian crosswalks and signage in the Marshwalk Business District
  2. The repainting of 15 stripe miles of existing bike lanes along Highway 17 Business. This includes the use of thermal reflective paint and the widening of the striples.
  3. The creation of a plan for a four-mile multipurpose (biking and walking) path throughout Murrells Inlet, which is currently moving to the construction phase. The groundbreaking is expected to be in early February.
  4. Repair, replacement and maintenance of “Welcome to Murrells Inlet” signage at the north end and south end of Highway 17 Business and various locations in Murrells Inlet.
  5. Regular mowing, lawncare and litter clean-up of the medians on Highway 17 Bypass through Murrells Inlet.
  6. Regularly scheduled monthly community clean-ups.
  7. A constructed wetland to filter stormwater runoff before it hits the Inlet.

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