Southern Evacuation Lifeline
The Conservation League has been fighting for years to stop a road across the Waccamaw River that would open western Horry and Georgetown Counties to sprawling development, destroying some of the region’s most pristine areas and impacting the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, the Waccamaw River, and Winyah Bay.
The proposed road across the Waccamaw has been dubbed the Southern Evacuation Lifeline, “SELL.” The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) completed the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in 2008 but then ran out of money to complete the final EIS. The “preferred alternative” extends from Highway 17 bypass, across the Waccamaw River through western Horry county connecting with South Carolina Highway 22. Citizens balked at SELL’s Hwy 17 terminus, and politicians promised that it would terminate west at 707 and Hwy 31.
SELL will induce sprawl in western Horry and Georgtown Counties and increase traffic on the already crowded Highway 17 and throughout the Grand Strand and Waccamaw Neck. The new highway will impact the Waccamaw Wildlife Refuge and destroy traditional communities and rural farmland. SELL will be an interstate-standard road with huge interstate-standard interchanges and significant land use impacts.
Recently legislators agreed to put $ 2 million aside to revitalize the permitting process. The Conservation League opposes the Southern Evacuation Lifeline and continues to work to stop this ill-conceived road.