The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) broke ground on the $126.7 million Mason Mega Rail Terminal on March 26.
The project is intended to boost the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to 1 million containers annually, in addition to opening new markets throughout several cities, including from Chicago to Cincinnati, GPA said.
“The Mason Mega Rail project will expand rail capacity by 100 percent while reducing impact on the local community and throughout the supply chain,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the GPA.
The Mason Mega Rail expansion is partially funded by a $44 million U.S. Department of Transportation FASTLANE grant administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration. Last year, the department changed the name of FASTLANE to the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program.
During the first half of the year, project work will focus on building two rail bridges with seven tracks that will link two intermodal container transfer facilities, officials said.
GPA expects that the new terminal will begin coming online by the fall of 2019, and the project completion date is currently anticipated in the fall of 2020.
The Garden City Terminal is set to feature 180,000 feet of rail when the project wraps up, in addition to 18 working tracks and the capability of building 10,000-foot unit trains on terminal.
The expansion project will also enable GPA to bring all rail switching onto the terminal, avoiding the use of nearly two dozen rail crossings to offer enhanced vehicle traffic flow.