With the Carolina Southern Railroad being unwilling or unable to repair deficiencies on bridges through Horry County, therefore rendering the line useless, maybe another suggestion could be considered as a practical solution to all parties involved.
Let's form a three-member committee with Horry County, Conway and Myrtle Beach all being represented, to evaluate the feasibility of a biking/hiking trail being built along the rail bed from Conway to Myrtle Beach.
Assuming this exercise has a positive outcome, the owner of the railroad could be approached with a proposal that he donate that section of the line from Conway to Myrtle with the specific intention it be used as spelled out. Any outstanding monies due from the railroad could be forgiven. It seems this would virtually solve the owners’ issues, and open up a new, useful purpose for that right-of-way.
Pooled resources from Horry, Conway, and Myrtle could finance the conversion of the rail bed to the trail. The bridges in need of repair could be fixed/adapted to accommodate lighter use vehicles such as bicycles, maintenance equipment and security vehicles. A biking/hiking route connecting Myrtle Beach and Conway (about 16 miles) could be a boon to both municipalities and all the communities in between, providing a much needed connector for unmotorized vehicles and walkers/hikers.
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Efforts such as this have been hugely successful in many areas around the country. I even have a name for it -- The Pippin/ MyrCon Bikeway.
The writer lives in Conway