GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) - More cargo continues to come in and out of Savannah’s port, and it isn’t moving strictly by ship.
Railroad shipping is booming, and it’s getting a big financial boost to continue growing. The Georgia Ports Authority Board approved the funding this week which will help the terminal better handle 10,000-foot long unit trains on the Garden City Terminal. The whole project will cost almost $127 million with a federal grant funding $44 million.
When it’s finished, the number of tracks will jump from eight to 18 with service to eight cities in the South and Midwest, expanding the port’s reach. City and state leaders say this project will decrease congestion and delays on streets in Garden City, making the project a big benefit for residents.
“Georgia Ports brings a lot of businesses to Garden City, but along with that business we have trains that come through our neighborhoods, block the streets, a lot of that’s going to be going away,” said Mayor Don Bethune, Garden City. “The ports bring us a lot of business, a lot of revenue from that. We do get a lot of complaints, and on the residential side, as we try to get people to move back into Garden City, they talk about trains. They talk about noise and blockage, so this is going to be very good news for Garden City.”
“With this latest announcement of what they intend to do with the extension of rail lines, this will make for even more potential for growth without as much congestion,” said Representative Buddy Carter, (R), GA. “Earlier this year, we had to meet with one of the railroads and with the ports because of a lot of complaints that we had of people being held up. That’s never good, particularly with emergency vehicles, so this is a good thing for the ports to be doing.”
The Mason Mega Rail should be operational by 2020.