Southeast Georgia JDA - Railroad Passing Siding
In June 2008, the OneGeorgia Authority awarded Equity loan funds of $1,000,000 to assist with the construction of a 12,600 linear foot railroad passing siding in Odum alongside the 182-mile Norfolk Southern (NS) Macon to Brunswick line to increase the capacity and efficiency of the Macon to Brunswick line. Total project cost is $4,198,634, which includes a USDA loan of $1,040,000, Joint Development Authority commitment of $1,108,634 and Georgia Department of Transportation commitment of $1,050,000.
On July 22, 2009, Governor Sonny Perdue switched the tracks in Odum to mark the opening of the 2 ½ mile passing siding. The siding has more than doubled the capacity of the track between Brunswick and Macon saving multiple hours of waiting train time. The siding allows one train to pass another, thus increasing the number of trains using this line. The project is increasing import and export capacity and efficiency to support the Brunswick Port and economic development opportunities in the Region.
On Monday, January 11, 2010, Mercedes-Benz USA opened its doors on the Port of Brunswick’s newest vehicle processing center just in time to receive its first shipment of 1,600 vehicles. MBUSA’s 70,000-square-foot facility consolidates MBUSA’s Southeastern shipping operations and makes the Port of Brunswick MBUSA’s South Atlantic hub. The facility will import more than 40,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles into the port annually increasing the overall total units at Colonel’s Island Terminal by more than 16 percent in 2010. The vehicles processed at the center will be shipped via high capacity rail to Mercedes-Benz dealers throughout the Southeast and to Texas and Oklahoma. The Port of Brunswick is one of the nation’s top seven auto ports. It is anticipated that the additional automobiles through Brunswick will create 122 new jobs (78 direct and 44 indirect), generate $1.5 million in state and local taxes and add $5.5 million to Georgia’s gross state product.
(The Brunswick News contributed to this article)