CHATSWORTH, Ga. — Atlanta-area drivers and Chattanooga's Volkswagen assembly plant should both benefit from a new "inland port" due to open in 2018 in Murray County, said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
At a ceremony on the county courthouse lawn under a broiling, summer sun, Gov. Deal, the Georgia Ports Authority, Murray County and CSX Transportation officials announced the "Appalachian Regional Port," at which shipping containers will be loaded onto trains and shipped to the Port of Savannah.
When it opens in 2018, it will take 50,000 long-haul trucks off highways in the Atlanta area and elsewhere in Georgia, officials said.
"Just imagine what that does to the traffic patterns all across the state," CSX Senior Vice President Clarence Gooden told the audience.
Deal said Chattanooga Volkswagen representatives were at the ceremony and are interested in shipping parts via rail, instead of by truck.
"Twenty-five years from now, you will all look back and take pride in what is happening today," Deal told the crowd.
The new facility will sit on 42 acres of former cattle pasture on the eastern side of U.S. 411 just north of the unincorporated community of Crandall.
The $24 million port will cost the state $10 million, the Georgia Port Authority $7.5 million, CSX $5.5 million and Murray County $1 million.
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.
This story has been updated to say that shipping containers, not only semi-trailer trucks, will be loaded at the port.