The U.S. Senate has approved $1.3 million to expand Congaree National Park, a 26,000-acre nature preserve in lower Richland County.
The decision, announced Thursday night, is intended to help link the park's main section with a newer section along U.S. 601. In addition to the $1.3 million the Senate approved, the park will need another $1.3 million to complete the link, according to a news release issued by a representative of the park.
"It's a huge deal for the park," Congaree National superintendent Tracy Swartout said. "Once we get the rest of the funding, we will have a fairly uninterrupted stretch of the Congaree River" for use by the public.