BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - "We are on board with them. We'd just like them to consider other routes," Joyce Dunn, Carolina Shores mayor, said as she held plans for a proposed parkway expansion.
Plans for the Carolina Bays Parkway Extension, which would connect the parkway to U.S. 17, have been discussed for years. Dunn said the talks have intensified over the past few years.
"We do support the DOT's desire to get this project built," Dunn explained. "It will have a good impact. It will be useful to the people who live around here. We just want to make absolutely certain it doesn't deteriorate the quality of life for people who live around here."
The parkway could reduce traffic coming from Myrtle Beach by giving tourists a second way to get on U.S. 17. The South Carolina Department of Transportation has the money available for the project.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation still needs to find approximately $330 million to pay for the project.
Carolina Shores and Calabash fall into the preliminary focus area, potential sites for the new extension, provided by NCDOT.
"Our plan is to do our best to represent the community and ensure whatever route they take does not do serious damage to where people live and work and shop," Dunn said.
Carolina Shores commissioners passed a resolution addressing the proposed extension six months ago. In it, they asked NCDOT to remove them from the preliminary study area.
Residents in Calabash sit in between U.S. 17 and the parkway set for an extension. John Charity and his neighbors said it's too early in the process to make too many conclusions.
"I don't want to jump the gun. I want to see what the plans are first," Charity said."Stay off private property and develop it where the (empty) lands are."
According to a presentation provided to the Brunswick County commissioners, construction on the project would start in 2026.