MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Railroads could soon be back up and running in Horry County after receiving a $9.8 million TIGER grant to restore the railways.
The project was discussed by the transportation committee and construction could start as early as this winter.
RJ Corman is the company who purchased the railways from Horry County several years ago and have been working to get the railroads back up and running
The company asked for the grant to help upgrade the lines and get the trains moving faster.
The $17.6 million project will upgrade of the rail lines to allow freight trains to move at speeds up to 25 miles per hour, rather than 10 miles per hour.
The US Department of Transportation awarded $9.8 million for the project which will be matched with $4.3 million from the State of South Carolina and $3.5 million from RJ Corman,
Currently the railway runs through North and South Carolina the project would involve replacing over 8 miles of rail and 74 miles of resurfacing.
Opening up the railways is expected to bring more industrial business and by lowering shipping costs, as many as 45,000 trucks could be taken off the roads and highways like U.S. 501.
“For one rail car that’s like 6 or 8 trucks that come off the road,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman of Horry County Council.
County officials also hope the investment will bring more industrial opportunities to Horry County.
“The biggest thing about rail is it gives opportunity for industrial development, we have a lot of industrial parks nearby within Horry County,” said Justin Powell, Horry County Assistant Administrator.
The goal is to have the project completed by the winter of 2021.