The Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) Mason Mega Rail project has passed a significant milestone with the opening of a new bridge spanning Pipemakers Canal at the Port of Savannah.
In a statement, the GPA said the new overpass will reduce the railroad crossings in Garden City and allow unimpeded operation of eight railroad tracks for the Mason Mega Rail Terminal.
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“The new Georgia Highway 25 bridge over Pipemakers Canal and the new Mason Mega Rail project greatly improve the flow of goods in and out of the Port of Savannah while improving traffic in and around Garden City,” said Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell R. McMurry.
“The efficient movement of freight is critical to Georgia’s economic growth, and infrastructure projects like these are the key to that growth. We enjoy a strong partnership with GPA that keeps Georgia moving forward.”
Construction of the bridge began in July 2019 in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Chatham County and the Industrial Company.
“The Mason Mega Rail Terminal is a unique project, made possible through collaboration between the Authority, local, state and federal governments,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.
“We appreciate the valuable role our partners play in increased efficiency for both local traffic and supply chain logistics.”
The new rail infrastructure will enable Savannah’s two Class I rail providers – CSX and Norfolk Southern – to build and receive 10,000-foot-long trains less than 1,500 yards from GPA’s docks.
By loading whole trains for specific destinations, the GPA said it will be able to deliver faster and more frequent rail service to markets along the Mid-American Arc from Memphis to Chicago and the Ohio River Valley.
The first bundle of new working tracks went into use this year. On July 1, GPA commissioned its first two rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes to work the terminal.
Spanning nine tracks, the machines speed the transition of containers between trains and trucks. The new RMGs are the first of 10 that will serve the rail yard.
When complete, the expansion will add 97,000 feet of new rail track at Garden City Terminal, for a total of nearly 180,000 feet, or 34 miles, of on-terminal track. Mason Mega Rail will double GPA’s on-terminal rail capacity to 2 million TEU per year.