South Carolina Ports Authority (SC Ports) has been awarded a US$21.68m grant from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to assist with building infrastructure at the Ridgeville Commerce Park.
The funding comes from the DOT’s fiscal year 2020 Better Utilising Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants, of which the Trump administration awarded US$1bn to repair, rebuild and revitalise transportation systems in the US.
Jim Newsome, SC Ports President and CEO, said: “The importance of this US$21.68m BUILD grant cannot be overstated. These improvements are crucial to the development of Walmart’s new distribution centre in Dorchester County.”
SC Ports’ BUILD grant will be used for both the on-site and off-site improvements to the port-owned Ridgeville Commerce Park.
This work is vital to the future development of Walmart’s 3m sq ft import distribution centre, which is set to break ground in March, as well as for future Ridgeville Commerce Park tenants.
SC Ports board chairman Bill Stern said: “SC Ports’ foresight to buy the Ridgeville site in 2018 will pay dividends to South Carolinians for generations to come as more companies move in, boosting cargo volumes at the port and creating jobs for residents.”
On-site improvements include building a two-mile industrial access road, as well as a 20-acre truck chassis and empty container storage yard.
Improvements off-sire include widening SC Highway 27 to provide improved access and traffic fluidity between the project site and Interstate 26.
Barbara Melvin, SC Ports COO, said: “This grant is an incredibly important component of developing the Ridgeville Commerce Park.
“We are thrilled that the Trump administration saw the significance of enhancing site infrastructure in support of South Carolina’s economy and global trade.”