A river pilot craft guides the OOCL Malaysia freighter to a bearth at the Port of Savannah on Monday, March 26, 2018. J. Scott Trubey/strubey@ajc.com

Savannah port launches $126M ‘mega rail’ project

Savannah —- The Georgia Ports Authority on Tuesday broke ground on one of its largest-ever expansion projects, a new rail hub that officials say will connect the fast-growing Savannah port to Memphis, Chicago and other cities in the Midwest.

The $126.7 million Mason Mega Rail Terminal project is expected to eventually take some 200,000 big rig trucks off the state’s freeways – even as container traffic grows – helping to alleviate bottlenecks near the Garden City Terminal and reducing truck traffic on highways across Georgia. The project, which will open its first phase in fall 2019 with completion expected in 2020, will add 180,000 feet of rail on site.

An informative look at the Port of Savannah

The project, which connects to CSX and Norfolk Southern lines, will ultimately allow trains nearly 2 miles in length to be built on site, and allow trains to bypass surface crossings, alleviating traffic congestion to allow freight to be moved faster. The ports authority said it moved a record of nearly 4 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEUs) containers in fiscal year 2017, and the agency is working to double capacity over the next 10 years.

“This project is a game changer,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “Our team estimates the Mason Mega Rail Terminal will slash rail time to the Midwest by a good 24 hours, and present a viable new option for many manufacturers, shippers and logistics professionals.”

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

AJC Business reporter J. Scott Trubey keeps you updated on the latest news about economic development and commercial real estate in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X