Recently several members of Horry County Council reported receiving inquiries why there is no work being done on International Drive.
The questioners mean well. The road is needed, but they are asking the wrong people.
The delay in finishing International Drive can be laid directly at the feet of overreaching state bureaucrats.
Specifically, SC Department of Natural Resources officials have, seemingly, intentionally held up finishing and paving the road bed of International Drive for over 10 years.
Initially the SCDNR attempted to keep Horry County from even considering expanding International Drive from its original dirt track through the woods into a passable, two lane road because of alleged red cockaded woodpeckers supposedly nesting in the right of way.
It was ludicrous, but underneath lay a bigger problem – for whatever reason, SCDNR did not want the road built.
After several years of being stalled, the county managed to solve problem by changing the position of the International Drive right of way to avoid the alleged woodpecker habitat.
As the county got into serious planning and acquired the funds to complete International Drive, SCDNR shifted its concerns to black bears in the woods near the road. This included forcing the county to plan for bear crossing tunnels underneath the road, raising the cost of construction and further delaying the start.
This SCDNR roadblock was, again, ridiculous. By this logic, most roads in Horry County, at least west of the waterway, should include bear crossing tunnels.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. James Vaught, a strong supporter of the International Drive project, asked a meeting of Horry County Council the question, “Where is a black bear going to cross the road?” He provided the answer in his own inimitable style, “Any damn where he pleases!”Read more ›