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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Myrtle Beach is getting ready to expand into North Carolina… sort of. The city’s Metropolitan Planning Organization is moving its boundary north into Brunswick County.

Some leaders fear that could mean the county’s transportation needs will not be a priority.

Myrtle Beach’s MPO is moving at least into Shallotte. The big question is, how far into the county will they go?

“I believe as a North Carolinian we have our own identity, and that being said, I like to be able to have individuals to make those decisions living here versus living in another state,” Brunswick County Commissioner Marty Cooke said.

The Grand Strand’s MPO, which prioritizes regional transportation needs, has options to stretch as far as Southport. The move would give federal dollars for part of Brunswick County to the Myrtle Beach MPO for transportation planning. It would handle projects from sidewalks to interstates in southwestern Brunswick County.

“I think people feel that they are being forced into a situation that is out of their control,” Waccamaw Regional Council of Government Planning Director Mark Hoeweler said. “We certainly don’t want to give that impression. We’re bound by what the federal law is and what the census results are.’

The Grand Strand MPO will now meet individually with Brunswick County leaders to see if their town wants to be a part of the transition. They say they will not leap frog a town if somewhere further north wants to be part of the move.

Many Brunswick County leaders say they don’t want anything to do with the MPO. Others are undecided.

“My constituents and my mayors are very confused, and I think information and answering there questions is the best thing to do,” Rep. Frank Iler (R-17th District) said.

The Wilmington MPO is also considering a move south into Brunswick County.

Leaders say a decision on the Grand Strand extension must be made by August 31.

Comment on this Story

  • Dawn

    What a mistake that would be. Brunswick County, North Carolina doesn’t need any part of South Carolina. Southport and Shallotte are 2 beautiful townships. Myrtle Beach doesn’t need to be a part of that. Get to and from each place as you do now. No need in Transportation by city busing or other means. Why is it that County Commissioners and Mayors are all the time wanting to mess things up.
    Same goes on where I am from in this awesome state. South Carolina needs to stay put in their own backyard. If South Carolina wants to bus people up here fine, but they need to use their monies and their tax revenue, not Brunswick County. I say screw South Carolina and Myrtle Beach. North Carolina has the best areas for vacation and they know it. We do not need them.

  • GingerEngineer

    This is planning for roads, bridges, and bypasses that come under the Federal Government and has nothing to do with buses or County/City taxes. If you look at the highways, bridges and bypasses in the Myrtle Beach area and compare them to the highways, bridges and bypasses (or lack thereof), it might not be a bad thing for Southern Brunswick County!

  • Guest2020

    If it were to absolutely come down to a choice between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington taking over anything, I would prefer it to be Myrtle Beach.

  • Guest211


  • Guest2020

    The roads in Myrtle Beach as compared to the roads in Wilmington is exactly why it would be better for us if Myrtle Beach was to win out over Wilmington. To be honest, I think that Myrtle Beach and Wilmington should just both keept out of Brunswick County.

  • Guest666

    What will happen is that vacationers to NC will be transported to SC to spend their money.

  • Guesttoo

    If the MB MPO can get the soon-to-be-formed “missing link” (between 74/76 and 421) of I-140 built any sooner, I say Bring It! Perdue wants to “speed up”, by a year or two, a road that should have been completed 10 years ago.

    Face it, the traffic jams that form on 17/74/76 every summer Friday(southbound), Sunday(northbound) and holiday are not just locals. They are folks traveling I-40, then I-140 trying to get around Wilmington…either to southern Brunswick County Beaches or South Carolina Beaches. They have little interest in admiring the Wilmington Waterfront (or Battleship) as they sit still atop the Thomas Rhodes bridge. They have little interest in admiring, for an hour, the big flag at the gas station in LA. They just want to get to their destination. If MB MPO can finish (completely) I-140 and tie 17 into 31…Bring It.

  • Beach bummer

    I would prefer Myrtle Beach to Wilmington any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  • GingerEngineer

    Where is my response from yesterday WWAY? The one that I submitted with the webpage for the WMPO minutes from January. This was the meeting that the WMPO voted that the Hampstead Bypass, a multi-model center and rail service between Wallace and Wilmington were more pressing needs that pushing ‘B’ phase of the I-140 bypass and improvements to the kamikaze intersection at the Battleship(among other projects).


    In my opinion, if this is an example of the ‘support’ Brunswick County can expect from the WMPO, we would be better off under the oversight and planning by the Myrtle Beach MPO rather than our ‘friends’ in New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington!


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