SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — On the heels of reporting 32 percent growth in containerized trade for October, an all-time record for Savannah, the Georgia Ports Authority approved rail and gate expansion projects that will significantly increase capacity at GPA’s Garden City Terminal – the single largest container terminal in all of North America.
Georgia port officials will spend $42.27 million to untie road and rail congestion around Savannah’s docks.
The Georgia Ports Authority approved work Monday that is part of a larger $128 million Mega Rail Terminal project.
The board also approved a $13.2 million project to expand the existing Gate 8 at Garden City Terminal.
According to GPA officials, the project will not only expand the Port of Savannah’s on-dock rail capacity by 100 percent, but position Savannah to rapidly increase service to an arc of inland markets from Memphis to Chicago. A total of $90.7 million has been allocated to the project thus far. Construction is slated to begin next month and be completed by the end of 2020.
Also planned are two railroad bridges over a canal.
Ultimately, the $128 million project will combine rail yards operated by CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. The new terminal will allow 2-mile (3.25-kilometer) trains to be loaded with double-stacked cargo containers. The railroads will be able to ship 1 million containers yearly from Savannah, up from 500,000 now.
The board also approved additional truck gates feeding a new connector to Interstate 95, which could take traffic off local streets.