Monday, November 21, 2011

Georgia Ports Authority Board approves Savannah area intermodal terminal expansion

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The Georgia Ports Authority Board approved a $6.5 million, 6,000-foot extension of the Mason Intermodal Container Transfer Facility in Garden City, Ga. The initiative is designed to expand capacity, improve efficiencies and reduce costs for customers.

Construction on the project will begin in January and when complete, the Garden City terminal will feature a combined 46,921 linear feet of track between two on-site rail yards serving Class 1 rail providers CSX and Norfolk Southern.

"Our two intermodal rail facilities allow rapid unloading and reloading and prevent the need for truck hauling from remote rail yards to the port," said Curtis Foltz, GPA executive director. "This expansion is part of a continual effort to improve our facility and increase efficiency."

The move comes on the heels of a strong year-to-date showing in intermodal container transfers. The four-month period from July through October 2011 saw 109,036 intermodal container moves, a 14 percent growth over the same period last year, at 96,034 transfers. Year-to-date volumes were boosted by the port's largest month ever for rail transfers in August, with a monthly total of 28,610.

The changes will allow locomotives to pull through the rail yard, rather than having to back train cars into the facility.

Layout of the rail spur tracks has been coordinated with the overpass on S.R. 307 leading into the main gate at the Garden City terminal. The overpass is currently under construction, with a contracted completion date in June 2012. When combined with the S.R. 307 overpass, the infrastructure improvements will enable the unimpeded flow of both trucks and rail.

Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 295,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $15.5 billion in income, $61.7 billion in revenue and $2.6 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah was the second busiest U.S. container port for the export of American goods by tonnage in FY2011. It also handled 8.7 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2011.

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