Opinion: Keeping transportation systems moving in Ga.

With the summer months here, we are finding ourselves at a crossroads. We need to jumpstart our economy, but we also need to keep Georgians safe. Many businesses are struggling over how to balance these priorities, but there is one industry here in Georgia that can do both: the transportation industry. While the rest of the world virtually stopped, the freight industry proved their critical value during a time of crisis by continuing to deliver lifesaving supplies. Now, more than ever, we need to be able to continue to transport freight across our state to bring much-needed supplies to hospitals, healthcare centers, and, yes, the grocery stores.

Before the pandemic, Georgia was uniquely positioned to become the transportation hub of the Southeast, if not the entire United States. With the world’s busiest airport, eighth-largest transit system, seventh-largest freight rail network, and fastest-growing port on the East Coast, we had the ability to keep the supply chain moving. Truth be told, Georgia’s transportation infrastructure is one of the factors that allowed us to build a global economy. Our history of forward-thinking investment in transportation has contributed to our success in economic development and job creation over the years. We can’t stop now.

We need our freight to safely move through our state to ensure that we are getting essential supplies to those that need it most. To do so, we must continue to invest in the critical infrastructure needed for transporting freight. This will be a fundamental pillar of our economic recovery. With so much at stake, we need to invest in Georgia’s transportation future to grow our economy and to save lives, achieving that balance we all need.

Seth Millican is executive director, Georgia Transportation Alliance. Other signers to this piece are: Michael Sullivan, president and CEO, American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia; Dave Moellering, executive director, Georgia Highway Contractor’s Association and Georgia Asphalt Paving Association; Jeff Wansley, executive director, Georgia Construction Aggregates Association; Jimmy Cotty, executive director, Georgia Ready Mix Concrete Association; and Lynn Middleton, executive director, Georgia Railroad Association.