A proposed inland port in Hall County has received environmental approval and could begin construction this summer.
A release from the Georgia Ports Authority Thursday said the GPA recently received the National Environmental Policy Act approval for the Northeast Georgia Inland Port project and is now preparing to finalize a grant of up to $46.8 million to begin work on the site.
The port is planned for an area on White Sulphur Road close to Georgia 365 just northeast of Gainesville and would create a shipping hub to connect the port of Savannah to a rail terminal in Northeast Georgia.
GPA Director of Economic and Industrial Development Stacy Watson said the project is expected to have a major economic impact on the area.
“The Northeast Georgia Inland Port will create 20 new direct jobs,” Watson said in Thursday's release. “However, the rail hub will deliver other opportunities for employment and economic growth as industry is drawn to its logistical benefits. That’s a dynamic we’ve already seen with our Appalachian Regional Port.”
GPA officials said initial projections are for the inland port to open with a capacity of 60,000 containers per year.
Officials also said earthwork on the project is expected to start in July with terminal construction planned by January of 2024. The port is expected to be completed in July of 2026.
One month ago, Hall County commissioners voted to enter an intergovernmental agreement with the GPA to split construction costs with the county agreeing to contribute $4.8 million.