Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Governor Perdue Dedicates Parkway, Rail Projects

Projects in Appling, Wayne counties vital to economic development in region

Governor Sonny Perdue joined local officials today to celebrate the completion of two transportation infrastructure projects designed to improve the mobility of people and products in the region.

Governor Perdue cut the ribbon on the Brunswick-to-Perry Golden Isles Parkway in Appling County which links the port of Brunswick to Middle Georgia with a continuous four-lane highway. The Governor also dedicated a new railroad passing siding on Norfolk-Southern's 183-mile track between Macon and Brunswick, the second big enhancement of rail traffic to and from the Port of Brunswick.

“Georgia continues to attract industry because business leaders understand quick and efficient movement of goods is a key to success,” said Governor Perdue. “These kinds of upgrades in our transportation network will ensure safer travel for tourists, better access for industries and improved connectivity in this area of the state.”

Formed in 2006, the 341 Alliance is comprised of development authority and chamber of commerce professionals from each of the eight counties that front Hwy 341 between Perry and Brunswick. Specifically, Houston, Pulaski, Dodge, Telfair, Jeff Davis, Appling, Wayne and Glynn counties are involved. Acknowledging the importance of the corridor to future economic development endeavors, the Alliance has been a strong advocate for completion of the four lane project.

The full widening of U.S. 341/Golden Isles Parkway now provides travelers with a direct four-lane route from I-75 in Middle Georgia to I-95 along the Georgia coast. Beginning north of Perry in Culloden and stretching to the Port of Brunswick, the Parkway runs through the heart of many small towns that are vital to the economies of middle and southeast Georgia. The expansion of the Parkway is expected to benefit future tourism development and industry recruitment efforts in this part of Georgia.

The Southeast Georgia Joint Development Authority and Norfolk Southern worked together to build a passing siding on the line that runs between Macon and Brunswick serving the Port of Brunswick. The Southeast Georgia Joint Development Authority was chartered in March 2005 and consists of six counties: Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Glynn, McIntosh, and Wayne. The current rail configuration was known to cause three hour delays as one train had to wait on another to clear the tracks. This system had the largest negative impact on unit trains with 60-75 cars carrying the same commodity and traveling nonstop.

The railroad passing siding on Norfolk-Southern's 183-mile track between Macon and Brunswick is the second big enhancement of rail traffic to and from the Port of Brunswick. The first came in September 2006 with the opening of Overton Junction, a 7,500-foot connecting track between CSX Transportation and Norfolk-Southern lines north of Brunswick. Previously, trains from the railroads had to go all the way into Brunswick and switch cars in two separate yards.
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