On the heels of President Trump’s discussion of infrastructure needs in this week’s State of the Union address, today Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E., joined other Georgia leaders including Jay Roberts, State Transportation Planning Director representing Governor Brian Kemp, State Transportation Board Chair Ann Purcell, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch, state and local officials and representatives of various transportation concerns to welcome U.S. DOT Under Secretary for Transportation Policy Derek Kan to a press conference and roundtable discussion in Savannah. As the single largest container terminal in North America, the Port of Savannah and its surrounding areas have a unique blend of aviation, rail, freight, and logistics needs, and the region is recognized as a perfect example of how transportation infrastructure is working in Georgia. Recognizing the need for improved infrastructure funding, particularly in areas that are important to the economic vitality of the U.S. like coastal Georgia, Under Secretary Kan provided insight into the administration’s infrastructure investment priorities during the press conference.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation sees and appreciates the strong leadership and quality of work that is happening in transportation in Georgia,” said Derek Kan, Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy at U.S. DOT. “The administration looks to states like Georgia to learn how innovation, collaboration and key partnerships at the local level are driving critical improvements across all modes of transportation.”
“The Georgia Department of Transportation is deeply grateful for the relationships forged between the U.S. DOT and the Federal Highway Administration which are critical to our ability to deliver the highest quality transportation network we can and provide us the opportunity to host events like we had today,” said Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. “Today’s discussion brought all the key players from Georgia to the table, and these positive relationships are what will continue to keep Georgia on the move to improve mobility, reduce congestion and improve travel times all while focusing on logistics and the efficient movement of freight statewide.”
“On behalf of the Georgia Ports Authority, I would like to thank the U.S. and Georgia Departments of Transportation. Through their collaborative efforts, we have developed a multi-modal network that ensures the free flow of cargo to and from the Port of Savannah, which is today the fastest growing and third busiest container port complex in the nation,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “As the premier gateway to the U.S. Southeast, we are expanding capacity to support 440,000 jobs in Georgia and many more across the region.”
Following the press conference, Georgia DOT and the Georgia Ports Authority invited representatives from Georgia’s aviation, rail, freight, logistics, transportation and business development communities to attend a roundtable discussion at the Georgia Ports Authority. Participants were able to share needs, concerns and points of view in a candid conversation led by Under Secretary Kan.
This event comes just days after the U.S. DOT announced more than $705.7 million in Emergency Relief to help 34 states, as well as American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, make repairs to roads and bridges damaged by storms, floods, and other unexpected events. Georgia received over $2.5 million in reimbursements for critical repairs, reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged highways and bridges completed following Hurricane Michael.
Information from Georgia Department of Transportation