Saturday May 25th, 2024 3:17AM

Commissioners approve $4.8 million in funding from Georgia Ports Authority

By Christian Ashliman Anchor/Reporter

The Hall County Board of Commissioners Thursday night unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the ports authority for inland port-related construction costs.

The agreement will allow the Georgia Ports Authority to provide Hall County with $4.8 million needed to fund the construction of roadways leading up to the inland port. In exchange, Hall County will be required to begin several projects associated with the port’s completion.

The first portion of the agreement details the beginning of preliminary engineering, construction, property acquisition and other associated work with the building of a roadway parallel to the Norfolk Southern Railway line.

Additionally, the county will also begin improvements on an existing unpaved section of Cagle Road in order to allow better access to the inland port. They also plan to close the White Sulphur Road highway-rail crossing.

The inland port plans to work together with Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Hall County, Gainesville and the Georgia Ports Authority. Since all of the planned uses for the $4.8 million have more to do with facility benefits, and less with the actual operation of the port, the GPA has deemed this project as viable in the “spirit of cooperation,” according to the agreement.

The Inland Port is a 104-acre project that plans to link the Port of Savannah to Hall County and Gainesville, providing what officials say will be a major boost to the Northeast Georgia economy. The railroad route will offset a 600-mile truck roundtrip and decongest Georgia highways, according to the GPA.

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday held its annual Transportation Forum, where the elimination of the YMCA Drive and Lanier Tech Drive traffic signal was discussed. Officials believe that signal removal will allow for continued mobility throughout the area, as the Inland Port will be approximately one mile north of that location. Instead, plans are in the works to construct a bridge at the intersection.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will meet again for a voting session on April 25 at 6 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: gainesville, hall county, georgia ports authority, Inland Port, Norfolk Southern Railway Company
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