(The Center Square) – Georgia will receive more than $14 million in federal aid to support operations at the Port of Brunswick, officials announced.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced it would provide $14.6 million to the Georgia Ports Authority to expand the Atlantic seaport.
“This is exactly the type of strategic, targeted investment that will alleviate the supply chain crunch at our Ports and help Georgia maintain its status as a world-class shipping leader,” said U.S. Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter, R-Ga., who advocated for the funding.
The money was provided through the 2021 Appropriations Act, which was signed into law by former President Donald Trump. It will build a fourth roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessel berth at the port’s Colonel Island Terminal to increase capacity.
Port of Brunswick is the nation’s second-busiest Ro-Ro cargo port, according to DOT’s announcement. The upgrade would allow the port to accommodate larger 7,000-plus-unit vehicle carrier vessels.
Georgia’s ports account for 11% of the state’s total sales in fiscal year 2019, or $122 billion, according to the Georgia Ports Authority. They contributed $1.7 billion in state taxes, $1.7 billion in local taxes and $6.1 billion in federal taxes, the authority said. The ports also contributed 8%, or $51 billion, of the state’s gross domestic product and 6%, or $29 billion, of the state’s personal income.
Carter wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in June urging him to approve the Port of Brunswick grant, noting the “the growing volume of U.S. automotive exports at the port” and the project’s potential to create “immediate and long-term family-wage jobs.”
“Taxpayer dollars should benefit the taxpayers,” Carter said. “This grant will create generations of good-paying, in-demand jobs that will further attract businesses, people, and workers to Georgia’s First District.”