Tunnel near Myrtle Beach, SC hotel marred with trash, and graffiti. Who is responsible?

It’s been touted as one of the best kept secrets in Myrtle Beach: An underground tunnel you can enter on either side of Ocean Boulevard and 13th Avenue South.

However, the tunnel, painted with murals of whales, sharks and other sea life, has fallen into disarray and has been the subject of many recent social media posts about its condition.

The underground tunnel that you can enter on either side of Ocean Boulevard and 13th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach is currently covered in graffiti and trash. The tunnel, which boasts murals of swimmers and sea life, is owned by Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. Feb. 15, 2024
The underground tunnel that you can enter on either side of Ocean Boulevard and 13th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach is currently covered in graffiti and trash. The tunnel, which boasts murals of swimmers and sea life, is owned by Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. Feb. 15, 2024

A visit to the tunnel revealed graffiti covering the walls, a garbage can thrown down the stairs and trash and food scattered throughout. There is an overwhelming smell before a person walks down the stairs.

There also were shoes and clothing, and it appeared that someone may have been living in the tunnel.

The underground tunnel that you can enter on either side of Ocean Boulevard and 13th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach is currently covered in graffiti and trash. The tunnel, which boasts murals of swimmers and sea life, is owned by Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. Feb. 15, 2024
The underground tunnel that you can enter on either side of Ocean Boulevard and 13th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach is currently covered in graffiti and trash. The tunnel, which boasts murals of swimmers and sea life, is owned by Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. Feb. 15, 2024

Built in the mid-1980s, the tunnel is maintained by the Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort and was created for people to use instead of crossing the street.

A person at the resort, located at 305 13th Ave. S., on Tuesday said that the tunnel usually undergoes maintenance each season, but the person was unsure when that would happen, adding that it was usually closer to summer.

No management was available to speak to and the person said they would pass along a message from The Sun News. The resort was purchased by A&S MB LLC in 2019.

In previous The Sun News articles, resort officials said they have had constant trouble with graffiti in the tunnel. At one time the painted sea life flowed down the walls. However, graffiti eventually covered the walls, which are painted white.

The underground tunnel that you can enter on either side of Ocean Boulevard and 13th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach is currently covered in graffiti and trash. The tunnel, which boasts murals of swimmers and sea life, is owned by Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. Feb. 15, 2024
The underground tunnel that you can enter on either side of Ocean Boulevard and 13th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach is currently covered in graffiti and trash. The tunnel, which boasts murals of swimmers and sea life, is owned by Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. Feb. 15, 2024

City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said by email that he was unaware that the city conducts any cleaning or maintenance of the tunnel.

The tunnel does not show up on the original South Carolina Department of Transportation plans for that portion of Ocean Boulevard, according to John C. Johnson, the city’s engineering manager. Johnson said by email that the city did not take ownership of the boulevard from the SCDOT until 2005. He added that the tunnel may have been constructed by some sort of agreement between the SCDOT and Sea Mist Resort.

It is unclear if Sea Mist has been cited for not maintaining the tunnel, which is open to the public.

The city of Myrtle Beach does have a code enforcement department in which a person can report property maintenance and building code violations.