By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina State Ports Authority plans to develop an inland port in upstate South Carolina that will be linked to the coast by rail.
The authority board on Monday agreed to spend about $1.1 million to hire an engineering firm to develop plans for the port to be located on land owned by the authority near Greer.
The facility would provide a place to load shipping containers on trains for movement more efficiently to the coast. Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome says the inland port could be operating within 18 months.
There's also an advantage for South Carolina motorists. Newsome says when fully operational, the new port could mean 50,000 fewer trucks a year driving on Interstate 26 between Charleston and the Upstate.