BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (StarNews) — The proposed Carolina Bays Parkway extension has been talked about for more than a decade, but recent progress could expedite the project in coming months. Last month the N.C. Department of Transportation selected an engineering firm to complete the environmental study for the portion of the roadway in North Carolina.
According to the DOT, the extension would link the Carolina Bays Parkway — also known as S.C. 31 — from S.C. 9 in Horry County, S.C., to U.S. 17 in Brunswick County. The parkway — a six-lane, limited-access highway that parallels the Grand Strand — ends a few miles before the North Carolina line, causing motorists to use two-lane Hickman Road to access U.S. 17.
The proposed project would provide a more direct connection between U.S. 17 and S.C. 31. The hope is that the parkway would relieve traffic congestion in southwestern Brunswick County — particularly around Hickman Road.