Georgia Ports Awarded $44 Million Transportation Grant - Global Trade Magazine
  August 2nd, 2016 | Written by

Georgia Ports Awarded $44 Million Transportation Grant

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  • Georgia Ports Authority gets $44 million FASTLANE grant.
  • Rail expansion is a key component to freight mobility.
  • 18 percent of containers handled at Savannah's Garden City Terminal moves by rail

The Georgia Ports Authority has received a $44 million Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to increase rail capacity at the Port of Savannah.

The award, made possible through the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program, is a significant portion of a total $128 million project known as the Port of Savannah International Multi-modal Connector. The project is expected to take five years to complete.

“As the nation’s fourth busiest container port, Savannah’s continued rail expansion is a key component to freight mobility in this country,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “This transformative project will not only increase rail capacity and velocity at the Garden City Container Terminal, but will also provide substantial benefits to surrounding communities by improving public safety, reducing environmental impacts and avoiding commuter traffic.”

Currently, 18 percent of the containers handled at Garden City Terminal moves on the Class I railroads Norfolk Southern and CSX. The Port of Savannah handled 3.73 million TEU in 2015.

“Investments such as this and the related inland rail facilities throughout Georgia will help shift more containers from truck to rail, allowing greater efficiency and reduced highway congestion,” GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said. “Rail cargo will play an important role in our future, not only increasing our capacity, but opening up new markets for Georgia’s ports. Gov. Nathan Deal has also announced a $10 billion freight mobility plan to be carried out over the next 10 years, which will improve the capacity and fluidity of transportation infrastructure across the state.”

“We knew going in that the FAST Act needed to be legislation that would reform how we go about prioritizing and spending money maintaining and expanding America’s infrastructure, and in turn, start earning back America’s trust in how we use their hard-earned tax dollars,” said Rep. Rob Woodall, a Republican representing Georgia’s seventh congressional district. “This grant, and others in FASTLANE, is a wonderful example of that effort taking shape. The Port of Savannah is one of the busiest ports in the country, which makes it the perfect candidate for what this program is intended to do: steer taxpayer dollars toward projects that matter most to America.”