HALL COUNTY: Sens. Reverend Warnock and Ossoff Announce Major Federal Grant for Northeast Georgia Inland Port

U.S. Department of Transportation will award nearly $47M to complete construction of the Northeast Georgia Inland Port in Gainesville, which would directly link local companies with the Port of Savannah by adding 324 miles of intermodal freight rail service
A member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Warnock advocated to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expressing his support for the project, emphasizing that investment in the Northeast Georgia Inland Port would benefit the state’s economy and positively impact all Georgians
ICYMI: Senator Warnock tours Port of Savannah, promises to bring federal investments to Georgia’s infrastructure
Senator Warnock: “This award is amazing news not just for job-seekers in and around Gainesville, but for companies throughout Hall County and Northeast Georgia that will now have a direct line to the Port of Savannah to get their goods and products out to consumers.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Reverend Warnock, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Jon Ossoff announced a nearly $47 million grant to the Georgia Ports Authority that will bring the highly-anticipated Northeast Georgia Inland Port to fruition. The award, provided through the Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program, will help build a new inland container port along the I-85/I-985 corridor in Gainesville. The new port, with an anticipated capacity of 200,000 lifts per year, will be connected to the Port of Savannah through a 324-mile intermodal freight rail service. In addition to reducing shipping truck traffic and commuter delays by choosing intermodal rail transportation to and from the ports, the federal investment will also support and promote job growth in Georgia by providing Northeast Georgia companies a quicker and more efficient way to access national and global markets.

“This award is amazing news not just for job-seekers in and around Gainesville, but for companies throughout Hall County and Northeast Georgia that will now have a direct line to the Port of Savannah to get their goods and products out to consumers,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “This federal grant will boost our state’s economy, relieve congestion on our roads, and create and support good-paying jobs for Georgians. I’m going to keep fighting in the Senate for investments like this that help keep our state and economy moving forward.”

“The development of the new Inland Port will help upgrade our infrastructure, expand Georgia’s world-class Ports, and create more Georgia jobs,” said Senator Ossoff. “I’m proud to have secured this massive $47 million investment alongside Senator Reverend Warnock, and I thank Secretary Buttigieg and President Biden for their continued support of our Port expansion efforts.”

“The Georgia Ports Authority would like to thank our Washington delegation for their support of federal grant funding for this important transportation project,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The Northeast Georgia Inland Port will serve the region’s thriving manufacturing and logistics corridor by shifting more containers from truck to rail. Use of inland terminals in such corridors reduces highway traffic, cuts carbon emissions and lowers costs for cargo owners.”

Through his engagement on the Commerce Committee, which helps oversee the development of ports and freight infrastructure, Senator Warnock has been a vocal champion for federal investments in Hall County’s inland port project. Recently, Senator Warnock successfully pushed to increase federal support for the INFRA program and in March, Senator Warnock wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expressing his strong support for the Georgia Ports Authority’s INFRA grant application to fund the Northeast Georgia Inland Port project, reiterating that the project would “yield significant long-term economic benefits for Georgia, and the Southeastern United States region, as well as the entire nation.” Additionally, as part of his “Jobs for Georgia” tour earlier this month, Senator Warnock visited the Port of Savannah, where he emphasized his commitment to strengthening federal investments in Georgia’s ports and rail infrastructure as a means of retaining and creating good-paying jobs and opportunities across the state. More coverage of Senator Warnock’s visit to Port of Savannah can be found hereherehere, and here.

Senator Ossoff, a fierce advocate for the Port of Savannah and Georgia’s regional economy, has worked with both public and private sector officials to secure funding for the port throughout his time in the U.S. Senate. Senator Ossoff has secured commitments from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young to work to fund the completion of the Port of Savannah deepening project. Last month, Senator Ossoff inspected the Port’s expansion and deepening projects and once again pledged to fight to secure the necessary funding to complete the projects.

The federal grant will help:

  • Improve multi-modal connections for the movement of containers through the Port of Savannah to and from the northeast Georgia and metro Atlanta region;
  • Reduce truck traffic and commuter delays on the regional and national roadway network;
  • Enhance the region’s economic competitiveness and opportunities for global trade;
  • Combine efforts by local, state, regional, and national stakeholders to improve the overall multi-modal transportation system;
  • Create a high-volume and environmentally friendly freight rail transportation alternative to an area that has relied solely on highways which are experiencing growing congestion;
  • Benefit local commuters and businesses through the enhanced movement of maritime cargo;
  • Create immediate and long-term jobs;
  • Expand economic development;
  • And establish critical safety and environmental improvements intended by the INFRA programs, while insuring the maximum return on previous federal and state investments