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Georgia approves $6 million for Port of Brunswick upgrades

Governor Kemp signs funding for critical harbor improvements, aiming to enhance the port's global market connectivity.

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The Georgia General Assembly has approved an allocation of over $6 million for significant improvements at the Port of Brunswick. This funding, a part of the state’s midyear budget adjustment, was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp on February 29. The Governor expressed his pride in signing the FY2024 amended budget, highlighting the investment in key areas including public safety, education, and workforce development, with a particular emphasis on the record funding for infrastructure projects like the Brunswick Harbor.

The recommended plan for harbor improvement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers includes key developments such as a bend widener and an expansion of both the turning basin at Colonel’s Island and the meeting area at St. Simons Sound. Georgia Ports Authority Board Chairman Kent Fountain expressed gratitude to state lawmakers, Congress members, and Governor Kemp for supporting the port operations in Brunswick and Savannah. The allocated funds, supplemented by expected federal contributions, are set to enhance the port's capacity to support businesses and jobs relying on its efficient global market connections.

The state’s funding serves as a pass-through to the Corps of Engineers, covering the non-federal share of the project, which has a total estimated cost of $17.45 million. The federal government is expected to contribute $11.35 million, or 65 percent of the total cost. Griff Lynch, President and CEO of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), highlighted the growth in vessel traffic at the Port of Brunswick over the past four years and the expansion in the capacity of car carriers serving Colonel’s Island. He noted that the harbor improvements would complement the ongoing terminal enhancements in Brunswick, facilitating the accommodation of the growing business demand.

The next step in this development involves the GPA signing a project partnership agreement with the Corps of Engineers, detailing the respective responsibilities for the Brunswick Harbor improvements. The project is set to benefit a range of vessels, including auto carriers and bulk and breakbulk vessels transporting commodities like forest products and raw rubber.

The Georgia Ports Authority is investing substantially in the Brunswick infrastructure, with more than $260 million directed towards various projects. Recently completed initiatives at the Colonel’s Island auto port include significant additions of warehousing and Roll-on/Roll-off storage space. Ongoing construction on Colonel’s Island involves additional buildings and further expansion of cargo storage capabilities. These landside projects, funded by port proceeds, are aimed at boosting the terminal’s capacity for on-site processing of autos and machinery, thereby augmenting the overall operational efficiency of the Port of Brunswick.

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