Port Wentworth sells part of Grange Road to Georgia Ports Authority


GPA official: purchase of a road as part of the project to connect the steamboat docks to the Garden City terminal

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The town of Port Wentworth has agreed to sell a portion of the largely unused Grange Road to the neighboring Georgia Ports Authority for $ 500,000.

The half-mile stretch of non-residential road runs from Georgia 25 northeast on Georgia Ports Authority property and sees primarily jockey truck traffic from the port terminal, according to James McCurry, executive director of GPA.

“As we realize that 90% of the use of this road is ours, we suggest that we remove this portion of Grange Road from you and, in turn, take on the burden of ongoing operations and maintenance. McCurry told members of Port Wentworth City Council at a workshop in December.

Following: Is Port Wentworth one of the most affordable places to live in Georgia?

No residents live on the Grange Road segment, although it was previously home to one of Port Wentworth’s few black communities at the time before the area was converted to industrial use.

The funds Port Wentworth gets from the sale of the deal will go to the general fund, according to city manager Edwin Booth.

The GPA plans to build a private road parallel to Georgia 25 that will connect Grange Road to its steamship terminal, which is across from the Imperial Sugar factory. The new route would link operations to the Garden City terminal located east along the Savannah River.

The road improvements would not only facilitate GPA operations, but would also reduce port traffic on public roads, especially on Georgia 25 and Crossgate Road, McCurry said.

McCurry said GPA plans to make progress on the connecting road this year, but is awaiting finalization from the new owner of Imperial Sugar. Louis Dreyfus Company announced last year that it would sell Imperial Sugar to Florida-based US Sugar.

Officials from the Louis Dreyfus company could not be reached for comment.

Part of the road project will also include a buffer zone or berm between the GPA property and the residential area between Crossgate Road and Armadale Road.

“This is just the redevelopment of an existing industrial area, but in doing this we want to provide as much aesthetic and sound buffer as possible to make it as tolerable as possible for those who live there,” said McCurry.

Previous reports: Georgia Ports Authority opens nine new tracks at Mason Mega rail terminal, backlog cleared

Following: Transport Sec. Buttigieg visits Port of Savannah as supply chain congestion eases

GPA’s recent expansions include the opening of nine new tracks at the Mason Mega Rail Terminal and the establishment of pop-up container parks in areas along the Southeast Coast, including Savannah. These efforts sought to reduce the freight backlog, which resulted from a mix of pandemic buying and labor shortages in the supply chain.

The stacking of shipping containers, visible to drivers off Georgia 25 at Port Wentworth, has gradually eased in recent months.

Nancy Guan is the general-duty reporter covering the municipalities of Chatham County. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @nancyguann.

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