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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 9:19am

Inland Port Breaks Ground

Construction on the state’s first inland port is underway in south Georgia. Officials say the first-phase of the freight transportation facility in Cordele should be up-and-running by fall of this year.

Jonathan Lafevers with the Port’s management group, Cordele Intermodal Services (CIS), says tens of thousands of truckloads of freight will soon be moving on rail between Cordele and Savannah’s Port.

But just as important he says, companies will look to build new distribution and manufacturing centers in south Georgia:

“It allows them to look at things a little bit differently and say ‘hey, maybe we need to put our place in Cordele now, or down in south Georgia because there is infrastructure there and there’s cheap land and there’s a lot of people out of work and good people out of work.”

Cordele's port is modeled after a successful facility in Front Royal, Va. CIS officials say that port has been in operation 20 years, and has spurred thousands of jobs there.

Lafevers says Cordele's port will cost about $8.5 million.

Officials are counting on a handful of federal and state grants to fund the construction.

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