Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) announced plans to construct a $29 million highway overpass linking the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal with U.S. Route 17.

Officials said the aim of the overpass is to keep tractor-trailer traffic away from local communities. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

“This is a port project in the best interest of the community,” President and CEO Griff Lynch said in a news release. “We want to keep trucks off local neighborhood roads for safety and sustainability reasons.”

The overpass will enable trucks to directly access Route 17, rather than use Louisville Road and local streets in Savannah to enter Interstate 16. GPA will construct the overpass and roadway entrance to Route 17.

In addition to the overpass and entrance ramp construction to Route 17, GPA will also build a dedicated exit ramp from Route 17 and a tractor-trailer-only entrance roadway into Ocean Terminal.

Once completed, the overpass will be turned over to the Georgia Department of Transportation for the roadway’s maintenance and repair.

The project is the outcome of collaboration among GPA, GDOT and the city of Savannah. GPA officials said the initiative started by talking to communities near Ocean Terminal and hearing the concerns of residents on the impact of increased truck traffic on neighborhood streets.

The Port of Savannah’s 200-acre Ocean Terminal is one of the busiest container ports on the East Coast. Ocean Terminal and the port’s Garden City Terminal handle about 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units annually.

In December, GPA announced details of a $4.5 billion expansion plan that includes the Garden City Terminal West, Blue Ridge Connector and improvements to Berth 1 at the Garden City Terminal.

With these expansions and renovations, GPA expects container capacity at the Port of Savannah to grow by approximately 3.5 million TEUs per year, with annual capacity reaching 10 million TEUs by 2026.

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