A planned “inland port” in Gainesville designed to reduce traffic congestion on Georgia highways has gotten a green light from the feds.
The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has received National Environmental Policy Act approval to move forward with plans to build a rail hub along the Interstate 85/I-985 corridor that will take in containerized cargo shipped by freight rail from the Port of Savannah and transfer the containers to trucks.
The GPA has received a $46.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build the project.
The Gainesville inland port will join the authority’s Appalachian Regional Port in Northwest Georgia, which has been operating for the last five years. A 200-acre site in LaGrange has been acquired for a third inland port.
“Our expanding network is increasing rail capacity and connectivity between the port and major manufacturing sites around the state,” said Griff Lynch, the authority’s executive director. “Moving more cargo by rail eases interstate traffic and reduces the carbon footprint of the state’s logistics industry.”
At the other end of the system, construction of the Port of Savannah’s Mason Mega Rail terminal has increased rail capacity at the port to 1 million containers per year.
The GPA estimates the Gainesville inland port will open with an initial annual volume of 60,000 containers. With a roundtrip truck route of 602 miles, this opening volume will avoid 36 million truck miles during the project’s first year of operation.
Construction of the Gainesville inland port is due to start early next year, with completion expected in July 2026.
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