Georgia port improvements $15 million boost

February 14, 2024

The state of Georgia will use $15 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to upgrade a pair of berths in the port of Brunswick’s East River Terminal. The harbor is one of the Peach State’s most critical export hubs and the second-busiest hub for wheeled cargo in the nation, moving 650,000 units of vehicles and heavy machinery in 2021.

The harbor project is one of 28 projects supported by the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects program (INFRA) as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The competitive grant program supports national or regional projects that improve safety, reliability and efficiency of movement of people and freight in urban and rural settings.

Currently, two of the terminal’s four berths are not fully operational, with Berths No. 2 and No. 3 listed in “marginal” and “condemned” conditions. Plans call for demolishing and replacing both berths. The port will rebuild Berth No. 3 at half of its existing 540-foot length to allow vessels carrying U.S. exports to use it in the long-term.

Other upgrades include building a continuous marine fender system for both berths and installing electrical and water utilities. Plans also call for dredging Berth No. 3’s vessel docking area.

“This latest investment of more than $15 million in federal funds will provide critical infrastructure upgrades for the port of Brunswick to ease vessel traffic and the flow of commerce at a major economic hub for our state,” said U.S. Sen. Reverend Raphael Warnock in a joint release issued by U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff’s office.

Without the infrastructure boost, exports of a renewable energy source – wood pellets – “will become marginally less competitive.” An unsuitable harbor would also force exports to use alternative ports and overland truck transportation, tacking on additional costs. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shifting from truck to rail for transporting goods to the port.

The port is located in Garden City, 5 miles northwest of Savannah.

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Jaxfl, courtesy of Laura Ragland

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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