SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) board has approved project funding to increase capacity, efficiency and flexibility in heavy machinery exports.
“This project will provide greater capacity in moving oversized roll-on/roll-off cargo at Ocean Terminal,” said GPA executive director Curtis Foltz. “It will yield better efficiency, and lower long-term maintenance costs by providing a more durable surface for moving and staging these heavy cargos.”
The board approved $2 million at the Nov. 19 meeting for a total of just under $5 million dedicated recently to high density paving at the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal.
The improved surface employs Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC), which is conducive to the heavy traffic and loads endured by paved surfaces in a shipping terminal, according to officials. Unlike traditional concrete, RCC is relatively dry when poured, officials said in a release.
Using RCC reduced the cost of the project and the amount of natural resources required, as well as offering a slightly faster cure time.
The additional funding will expand outdoor paved areas in an effort to improve sorting and storage of cargo handled at Ocean Terminal. The work includes expanding and improving the cargo pressure washing area, and cargo staging areas to support outside stored cargo.
These improvements follow similar infrastructure projects at GPA’s Colonel’s Island Facility in Brunswick, where roadways, bridges and staging areas were also strengthened to accommodate additional tracked and heavy equipment.
In the last four years the volume of ro/ro cargo moved though Georgia’s deepwater ports, including Savannah’s Ocean Terminal and Brunswick’s Colonel’s Island, has nearly doubled.
Foltz said machinery exports are set to expand in the wake of Governor Nathan Deal’s February announcement of a 1,400-job Caterpillar manufacturing facility near Athens. The factory will build small track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators. Proximity to the state’s ports factored into the company’s decision to bring those jobs to Georgia, Foltz added.