Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 4430Primary Sponsor: KelleyCommittee Number: 21Type of Legislation: JRSubject: Pine Island Drawbridge, Horry CountyResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Education and Public WorksComputer Document Number: DKA/3116AL.94Introduced Date: 19940111Last History Body: HouseLast History Date: 19940111Last History Type: Introduced, read first time, referred to CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Kelley Keegan Martin Snow Witherspoon WorleyType of Legislation: Joint Resolution
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ____ ______ ____________ ______________________________ ___ ____________ 4430 House 19940111 Introduced, read first time, 21 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO REQUIRE THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO REOPEN, REPAIR, AND MAINTAIN THE PINE ISLAND DRAWBRIDGE.
Whereas, Horry County is one of the largest counties in the United States, is the largest and fastest growing county in South Carolina, serves as the major hub of tourism, and is the largest tourism producer in South Carolina; and
Whereas, Horry County has been ranked by Dunn and Bradstreet as the thirteenth fastest growing county in the nation; and
Whereas, many tourist attractions within and around Horry County must be accessible by rail, automobile, bus, truck, and other motor vehicles; and
Whereas, despite its large size and revenue producing capabilities, Horry County has not been able to develop to its full potential due to insufficient transportation infrastructure; and
Whereas, the General Assembly through Act 691 of 1934 authorized the department (Department of Transportation) to maintain and to operate certain drawbridges over the Intracoastal Waterway in Horry County so as to accommodate both railway and highway traffic; and
Whereas, the Pine Island Drawbridge is one of the drawbridges authorized to be maintained and operated by Act 691 of 1934 and serves as an important link between the past, present, and future economic development of Horry County through transportational facilitation; and
Whereas, pursuant to the authority granted in Act 691 of 1934, the Department of Transportation on February 26, 1934, signed a written agreement requiring the department to maintain, operate, and replace the Pine Island Drawbridge as a permanent combination-railway drawbridge to be constructed by the United States without cost to the South Carolina Department of Transportation; and
Whereas, in 1988 the Pine Island Drawbridge was closed by the South Carolina Department of Transportation due to fractures in the foundation of the drawbridge; and
Whereas, closure of the Pine Island Drawbridge has required private companies to ship goods by truck instead of by rail, has severed the railroad link for tourists and Horry County residents between Conway and Myrtle Beach, and has deprived Horry County of an important source and catalyst for economic development and regional unity, resulting in wasteful and unnecessary costs to business, to government, and to taxpayers of millions of dollars in lost tourism and revenue and excess expenses; and
Whereas, the South Carolina Department of Transportation has been asked formally to repair the Pine Island Drawbridge as a top priority by Horry County Council; the Mayors and the City Councils of Myrtle Beach and of Conway; the Conway and the Myrtle Beach Chambers of Commerce; the Horry County Legislative Delegation; the South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism Commission; the Fifteenth Circuit Highway Commissioner; various Horry County citizen groups, including Citizens United to Lower the Drawbridge; and various private businesses in Horry County; and
Whereas, the Railroad Division of Osmose Wood Preserving, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, informed the South Carolina Public Railways Commission by letter dated July 14, 1989, that it could repair the Pine Island Drawbridge for approximately eighty thousand dollars; and
Whereas, in 1993, the South Carolina Public Railways Commission stated that it could repair the Pine Island Drawbridge for approximately two hundred thousand dollars; and
Whereas, in October 1992 Horry County Council sued the Department of Transportation due to the department's failure to comply with its obligations to Horry County by repairing, maintaining, and operating the Pine Island Drawbridge. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The drawbridge known as the Pine Island Drawbridge, which was constructed by the United States Government, where the railroad line crosses the intracoastal waterway near Highway 501 between Conway and Myrtle Beach, must be lowered, reopened, repaired, maintained, and operated by the Department of Transportation immediately.
SECTION 2. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.