New development plans were announced Monday for a state-owned rail terminal to be built in the Pee Dee region as South Carolina’s second “inland port.”
The State Ports Authority’s (SCPA) board of directors Monday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing construction to move forward on the terminal at the Carolinas I-95 Mega Site. SCPA will break ground on the new terminal in early 2017 and plans to open the facility by the end of the year.
Ports Authority officials say the new terminal in Dillon County will handle intermodal containers brought by rail from the Port of Charleston. The containers will then transfer the containers to trucks that will carry the cargo to points north.
“Inland Port Dillon will be a great diversification of our state’s logistics footprint,” SCPA President and CEO Jim Newsome said in a statement. “Building intermodal infrastructure in our state goes hand-in-hand with the significant investment we are making to our port facilities in Charleston. This is an exciting opportunity for SCPA.”
It will be the second inland port in the state of South Carolina, following the opening of a Greer terminal in 2013. SCPA officials say intermodal volume has grown rapidly since 2011, meaning demand has increased for such inland facilities. The Dillon County site is already served by an existing CSX mainline, which provides overnight access to the Port of Charleston.
U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, who represents the area in Congress, had led an effort to win federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help pay for the project. But the latest round of “TIGER” grants did not include the Ports Authority.