Georgia Works

Georgia Works

Chip Rogers

Export/Import Highway in Georgia?

By Chip Rogers Posted June 28, 2013 10:45am (EDT)
Georgia is poised to become a key link for commerce with the expansion of the Panama Canal

Georgia is poised to become a key link for commerce with the expansion of the Panama Canal


Regional Commission members in middle Georgia are asking the Department of Transportation to complete a study that would determine the feasibility of an export/import connector from Macon to Lagrange.

The proposed highway would link Interstate 16, Interstate 75, and Interstate 85. Most importantly it would be a direct connection for KIA motors production facility to the Savannah port.

Timing for an export/import highway is important.

The new Panama Canal will begin allowing the passage of super-sized cargo ships sometime during 2015. The deepening of the Savannah Harbor will allow these ships into Georgia.

According to a report at times-herald.com, investment in this type of infrastructure project yields impressive dividends.

"Everybody Wins” is the tagline for the project. That was chosen “because this is the one project, along with the port’s deepening, that benefits the entire state and Metro Atlanta,” said Lanier Boatwright, Three Rivers Regional Commission executive director. “It brings jobs and economic development to middle Georgia and it helps keep freight and truck traffic from increasing the estimated 300 percent on Metro Atlanta roads in the next few years.”

Economists believe the project will return $18 in economic activity for every $1 invested. Initial estimates for the highway are set at $400 million.

A website has been created to help support the need for this project – GeorgiasExportImportHighway.com

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