South Carolina General Assembly
110th Session, 1993-1994

Bill 4430

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

                    Current Status

Introducing Body:               House
Bill Number:                    4430
Primary Sponsor:                Kelley
Committee Number:               21
Type of Legislation:            JR
Subject:                        Pine Island Drawbridge, Horry
Residing Body:                  House
Current Committee:              Education and Public Works
Computer Document Number:       DKA/3116AL.94
Introduced Date:                19940111
Last History Body:              House
Last History Date:              19940111
Last History Type:              Introduced, read first time,
                                referred to Committee
Scope of Legislation:           Statewide
All Sponsors:                   Kelley
Type of Legislation:            Joint


Bill  Body    Date          Action Description              CMN  Leg Involved
____  ______  ____________  ______________________________  ___  ____________

4430  House   19940111      Introduced, read first time,    21
                            referred to Committee

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(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)



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.