Plans continue for multi-use Inlet path

Murrells Inlet 2020 continues to move forward with its plans to create an Inlet to Intracoastal multipurpose path, nicknamed the I2I path.

“Now we have to get the whole route surveyed,” Ciuba said. “We will start with phase one, from U.S. Highway 17 Business on Macklen Avenue to U.S. Highway 17 Bypass, across the bypass around Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital to the baseball fields behind the hospital.”

The second and third phases will take the path down Wachesaw Road to the Waccamaw River. MI2020 is waiting on official approval from Tidelands Health for the portion around the hospital.

“We are working with the major sponsors right now, so we can move onto the next step that will involve surveying,” Ciuba said. “We would love to have an angel surveyer step up, or donors who will help us pay for the surveying work, since we are a nonprofit organization.”

Strickland said the community will soon get on board with this project since it will provide benefits to the area.

“Once the first phase of the project is complete and everybody starts using it, the community will embrace it,” he said. “People need to look at the big picture and think about what we are leaving for our children.”

He compared this project to the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk, which Earthworks helped design and build. It is now a popular destination for people all around the world.

“This is a legacy project, just like the Marsh Walk project,” Strickland said. “Once complete, it will create a huge loop and a much more cohesive community.”

He said even though Murrells Inlet has a bike path along Highway 17 Business, people who live in other areas have to drive their bikes to the path. Riding a bike on Wachesaw Road, he said, is dangerous.

“There is no safe way for someone to ride a bicycle on that road,” he said. “Cars are going from 40 to 50 mph, so I wouldn’t want small children riding a bicycle down Wachesaw Road.”

Strickland said this I2I Path is a “doable” project.

“This project is a big one, can be overwhelming, so we are helping MI2020 take it one bite at a time,” he said. “The multi-use path is going to happen. It is just a question of whether it will happen in my lifetime or my children’s lifetime.”

By Clayton Stairs