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GREER, S.C. (AP) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is coming to South Carolina this week as the State Ports Authority breaks ground on a new inland port in Greer.

The port will provide a place to transfer shipping containers between trucks and trains and provide a direct rail link to the Port of Charleston.

Ports officials estimate the port could eliminate 50,000 truck trips a year on busy Interstate 26 between Charleston and the Greenville-Spartanburg area.

Gov. Nikki Haley will be on hand for the Friday groundbreaking as will Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome and Mike McClellan, a vice president of the Norfolk Southern Railway.

The inland port is expected to be in operation later this year.

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