Georgia is already an impressive hub for containerized trade. The Port of Savannah moved 3.73 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in 2015, and regularly handles 10,000 truck moves a day.
“In order to stay ahead of phenomenal growth, the Georgia Ports Authority is working with state and federal partners to build upon our world-class transportation infrastructure,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “Improvements to both landside and maritime assets will help port users reach customers more quickly.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation will complete the Jimmy Deloach Parkway Extension in 2016. The $72.8 million, 3.1-mile Deloach Connector extends the current parkway to State Route 307 near the port’s main gate. Once completed, trucks will have a direct, four-lane link from the Garden City Terminal to Interstates 95 and 16.
In conjunction with the parkway extension, GDOT will upgrade access to the northern boundary of Garden City Terminal. Trucks exiting the parkway can take advantage of a multi-lane truck gate onto the terminal. Gate 8, opened in February, was an $11 million project that serves as the third major truck interchange at Garden City Terminal.
Just inside Gate 8, the authority has built a new container yard adjacent to the Mason Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (served by Norfolk Southern).
Including Gate 8 and the new container yard, the GPA will invest $142 million in infrastructure upgrades at the Ports of Savannah and Brunswick in Fiscal Year 2016. Other improvements include:
· 30 new rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes for container handling.
· Phase 3 of the transition to more efficient, electric RTGs.
· 4 new ship-to-shore cranes, bringing Savannah’s total to 26.
· 20 refrigerated container racks, bringing the number of container racks slots to 2,496.
· Colonel’s Island Southside development
· Ocean Terminal Berth reconditioning
The infrastructure upgrade with the greatest impact, however, is the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. The $706 million expansion, currently under construction, will increase harbor depth from 42 to 47 feet at low tide, allowing Super Post-Panamax vessels to operate more efficiently.