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      Money approved to expand Congaree National Park

      The Congaree River at U.S. 601 / FILE

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- The National Park Service says it has the funding for an expansion of the Congaree National Park southeast of Columbia.

      The State newspaper reported the park service says it has the $1.4 million to buy 433 acres to complete an expansion of the 26,500-acre park.

      The Trust for Public Land bought the land in 2007 and planned to turn it over to the park service when it obtained funds. Slade Gleaton with the trust hopes the transaction will be completed by the end of summer.

      Related Stories Judge rejects bid to halt work on 601 bridge SC's only national park to get $2.7M to buy land Congaree National Park grows with purchase of 625 acres

      The park will connect with the 25,000 Manchester State Forest on the Wateree River and the 18,000-acre Santee Swamp.

      The new addition includes frontage on U.S. 601 and a road to the Congaree River that park officials hope to turn into a public access area.

      The park is South Carolina's only national park.

      Click here to see the current park map and trail system.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)