Myrtle Beach, S.C.— Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC 07) today announced that the Horry County Government has received a $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to upgrade railroad lines and more efficiently move freight in Horry and Marion Counties. The grant, entitled Moving the Carolinas Forward: A Rural Freight Rail Project, will improve freight transportation throughout the Seventh District.  

“With this new funding, freight can travel more quickly and efficiently through Horry County, allowing businesses in our district to be more competitive while reducing the price of goods for residents,” said Rice. “The reliability of the newly-improved railroad will incentivize investment and therefore help diversify our economy with new industry. I’d like to thank Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus for his leadership on securing this grant and South Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt for his commitment to this project.”

“South Carolina’s railroad system is a vital part of our state’s transportation infrastructure and plays an integral role in our economy,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “These improvements will help recruit future investment and economic development to Horry County.” 

This grant will create additional capacity on R.J. Corman’s Carolina Lines by improving efficiency to better serve residents in and around the Seventh District. The railroad runs between Mullins, S.C., Chadbourn, N.C., and Conway, S.C. The railroad had not been consistently operational in approximately five years prior to re-opening earlier this year after a change of ownership.

In April, Congressman Rice wrote a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in support of this grant. He also held multiple calls with the Secretary and his staff and conducted meetings with White House officials to help secure this funding. This is the first grant of its kind the Seventh District of South Carolina has received since 2009 when the I-73 project received a grant for its I-95 interchange.