SC History Trail

Intracoastal Waterway and Bridges

The final link of the famed 2,700 mile-long Intracoastal Waterway was completed in Horry County in 1936. Three historic bridges from the era may be viewed in Little River, at Pine Island, west of Myrtle Beach, and at Socastee.

Photo Gallery
Click icon to enlarge image. Use arrow keys or
click large picture to cycle through the gallery.


Intracoastal Waterway and Bridges
Little River, Pine Island and Socastee, SC
Add This Site to Your Itinerary
Site Description
The final link of the famed Intracoastal Waterway, which extends for 2,700 miles from Maine to Texas, is the section of the Waterway that traverses Horry County. The Intracoastal Waterway project through Horry County was dredged during the Great Depression as part of the Recovery Acts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. The route of the Intracoastal Waterway through Horry County followed a straight line from Little River to a point on the Waccamaw River near Bucksport. Much of the Waterway followed local creeks or went through swampland, but part of the route through Horry County required digging through some of the highest land on the Waterway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which built the Intracoastal Waterway, erected mechanical swing bridges or draw bridges at Little River, Pine Island and Socastee. The Little River Swing Bridge is located where Sea Mountain Highway crossed the Waterway, adjacent to U.S. 17 / Highway 9 in Little River. The Pine Island Draw Bridge may be viewed from Waccamaw Boulevard where U.S. 501 crosses the Waterway, west of Myrtle Beach. When the local section - the last link in the Waterway - was completed in 1936, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes was the guest of honor at a gala dedication at the Socastee Swing Bridge. The historic bridge is located where Dick Pond Road crosses the Waterway, adjacent to Highway 544 and the modern Ben Thrailkill Bridge. It has been retooled and restored, but the original bridge tender's box from 1936 is still located on site. The original swing bridge is in place, and is part of the Socastee Historic District and the Socastee Driving Tour.