As a homeowner, you know that your HVAC unit is one of the most important components in your house. It keeps you cool during hot summer days and warm on chilly winter nights. When it's working properly, it's easy to forget its important role in your everyday life. But when it malfunctions, you quickly remember how crucial heating and AC repair in Allenhurst, GA, is for your family.
At Liberty Heating & Air, our mission is to ensure your cooling and heating systems remain effective throughout the year at the lowest prices available. Unlike some of our competitors, we prefer to put our customers first before anything else. We believe in doing right by the folks who choose our business. Cutting corners to save a few bucks? Annoying sales pitches to try and sell you new parts or equipment? That's just not the way we do business.
When you choose Liberty Heating & Air, you can rest easy knowing you won't have to pay outlandish fees for our services. As a licensed, bonded heating and air conditioning company, we know how important trust is when it comes to the nature of our business. We go above and beyond other HVAC companies and treat your home like it was our own. That way, you have peace of mind knowing you and your family are in capable, responsible hands.
We take pride in providing our customers with the highest quality service. Our highly trained technicians have experience handling all aspects of HVAC repair, from routine maintenance problems to advanced A/C unit installation projects in Allenhurst, GA.
Through hard work, honesty, and integrity, we have built a loyal customer base that continues to grow each month. It would be our honor to call you our customer too. Whether you need a routine maintenance check or emergency heater repair in Allenhurst, we are here for you every step of the way, 24-hours a day.
We get it - there are a lot of A/C companies out there to sift through. You want to be sure you choose the best company for your needs and budget.
Here are just a few reasons why our customers choose Liberty Heating & Air over other HVAC companies in South Georgia:
We're authorized to service and sell two of the most respected brands in the heating and A/C industry. No matter what size home you own, our technicians are fully equipped to handle any HVAC issue with your Goodman, Carrier, or other air conditioning units.
We go the extra mile to ensure that our customers feel safe and protected when they hire our team. We treat your home like it was our own, from the moment we step foot on your property to the time we pull out of your driveway.
We understand that money doesn't just grow on trees. You work hard to make an honest living and need reasonable pricing on A/C repair and other HVAC services. At Liberty Heating & Air, you'll never have to worry about us charging you outrageous prices.
Has your heater gone out in the middle of a freezing January night? A/C unit quit working in the middle of summer? Despite some common red flags that you can keep an eye out for, you can never really plan for an HVAC malfunction. That's why we offer emergency HVAC services in Allenhurst, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
With Ft. Stewart just a few minutes away, Allenhurst has one of Georgia's largest active military populations. It is our honor to offer current and retired military members and their families discounted prices on their next service appointment. We also offer up to 10% off for Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Members. It's our small way of giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for our liberty.
From new unit installations to air conditioning repair, it would be our pleasure to provide you with a free estimate on our services.
Has your heater gone out in the middle of a freezing January night? A/C unit quit working in the middle of summer? Despite some common red flags that you can keep an eye out for, you can never really plan for an HVAC malfunction. That's why we offer emergency HVAC services in Allenhurst, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
When your A/C unit or heater breaks suddenly, it can be hard to squeeze repairs into your budget. To make sure all of our customers are comfortable in their homes, we offer financing options to make your life easier.
Here in southern Georgia, our summers can be extremely hot and humid. Trying to live in a home without A/C a South Georgia summer isn't just a bad idea; it can be downright deadly. Fortunately, Liberty Heating & Air is here to help with all of your A/C needs. There's no A/C issue that our highly trained HVAC technicians haven't seen before, and no job too small or large for us to tackle. Whether your A/C system needs a basic issue resolved, or you need a new AC unit installed at your house, our team will be at your door in no time.
We have the experience and training to service all major air conditioning systems, from ductless systems to central air setups. We're authorized to service Goodman to Carrier brands, but the truth is it doesn't matter what A/C unit brand you have - our team can fix it all. If your unit is beyond repair, we can walk you through the process of installing a new A/C system and suggest appropriate units that will work well for your home.
Here are just a few of the most common A/C repair services we offer in Allenhurst and the surrounding area:
Once springtime rolls around, it's very important that you keep your eyes and ears open for any potential warning signs that your A/C unit needs to be repaired. The last thing you need is to be caught off guard when June, July, and August are in full swing. Knowledge is power, and at Liberty Heating & Air, committed to keeping our customers in the loop about potential A/C repair warning signs. That way, you can take preventative steps rather than reactive ones.
Don't be alarmed if your A/C unit makes low-level noises throughout the day and night - these sounds are completely normal. However, if you hear loud, unusually abrupt noises coming from your unit, it may be time to have it repaired. Buzzing or rattling noises can mean a part is loose, while grinding or whistling can signal a more serious problem. Because these types of issues won't work themselves out on their own, a professional is needed to diagnose and correct the problem.
If you notice strange, smelly odors permeating throughout your home, your first instinct may be to grab the air freshener. However, unpleasant odors can be a sign that your A/C unit needs attention. Our A/C repair techs will let you know what's going on and how a potential issue can be remediated with a quick diagnostic test.
Your A/C unit needs refrigerant to keep your home cool and comfortable when it's hot outside. It's common for condensation to accumulate as your system cools your home. With that said, if you notice pooling water or an active leak coming from your A/C system, it's time to call an A/C repair tech ASAP. Leaks can cause extensive damage to your home, and the problem needs to be addressed quickly.
South Georgia isn't known for its freezing temperatures, but one thing is for sure - wintertime in Allenhurst can get very cold. When the temps begin to drop, your home's furnace works properly. Modern homes have come a long way since the days of wood and coal. Your home's heater is complicated, and when one component fails, the entire system can be affected. In situations like these, it's important not to panic. Instead, give Liberty Heating & Air a call. Our trustworthy team of heating repair experts have the knowledge and training to repair your furnace fast, so you can get back to enjoying your home.
Here are just a few of the most common issues that we can help repair:
Today's heating systems are complex. At Liberty Heating & Air, our heating repair technicians receive ongoing training in all aspects of heating technology. That way, their skills stay sharp, and their techniques remain up to date. However, you don't need to be an expert to spot common signs that your heater may need to be repaired.
As colder months approach in Georgia, try to be aware of the following red flags:
You're probably used to a more expensive electricity bill when winter hits Allenhurst. However, if you notice a huge price jump over last year's bill, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your heating system. Utility companies are known for raising prices gradually, but a dramatic leap is a cause for concern.
Does your heater seem to work perfectly in some areas of your house but not others? Are some rooms too hot while others are drafty and cold? If so, your heater may need repairing. This is a common issue in older homes and requires an expert to inspect your heater and ducts for airflow problems.
If the air in your house is hazy no matter how much you dust, your heater may be the problem. A furnace that circulates mildew, dust, and other harmful particles isn't working correctly. This issue is particularly bad for people with asthma or respiratory illnesses. If you haven't changed your home's air filter recently, be sure to do so. If the problem persists, it's time to call Liberty Heating & Air.
You and your family depend on your home's A/C system to keep you cool and comfortable during the hottest months of the year. Unfortunately, breakdowns happen at the worst possible times - like in the middle of July when temperatures are over 90 degrees. If you have had to repair your A/C system more and more often, investing in a new cooling system will save you time and money in the long run.
As an Authorized Carrier and Goodman dealer - two of the most recognized and respected brands in our industry - we have the highest quality units available. We handle every aspect of your new A/C installation from start to finish. That way, you can focus on living your life rather than worrying about the next time your A/C goes out.
Keep an eye out for these warning signs:
If you have kept your unit well-maintained and changed your air filter regularly, you shouldn't experience this problem. If you do, and your system is old, it can be more cost-effective to replace it and have your duct system analyzed to fix the root cause of your dust issue.
If it feels unusually sticky in your home, like you just spent a few hours outside in the summertime, there's a good chance that something is seriously wrong with your air conditioning. Your air conditioner's job is to pull moisture out of the air to keep your feeling cool inside. When that process fails, it can increase your risk of mold and mildew growth - and that's just the start.
When your repair bills end up costing more than a down payment on a new A/C system, it might make more financial sense to invest in a more modern unit. Compare how much it costs to have our maintenance technicians perform regular service vs. the cost of a new air conditioning installation. The results may surprise you.
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Governor Brian P. Kemp today joined state and local emergency management officials, local leaders, and others in Savannah to provide an update on Tropical Storm Ian preparations and the state's planned response.The State of Emergency issued by Governor Kemp on Tuesday went into effect this morning at 7 a.m. for all 159 of Georgia's counties, making state resources available to local governments and entities within the hurricane impact area. The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) State Operations Center...
Governor Brian P. Kemp today joined state and local emergency management officials, local leaders, and others in Savannah to provide an update on Tropical Storm Ian preparations and the state's planned response.
The State of Emergency issued by Governor Kemp on Tuesday went into effect this morning at 7 a.m. for all 159 of Georgia's counties, making state resources available to local governments and entities within the hurricane impact area. The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) State Operations Center is now at a Level 1 full-scale activation and continues to monitor Tropical Storm Ian's progress.
Teams from the relevant state agencies are standing by to deploy to affected counties, when appropriate. The governor and emergency management officials are also coordinating with Georgia's utility providers, who have been staging equipment, inspecting the right-of-way paths of power lines, and preparing to respond to any power outages homes and businesses may experience.
At this time, the Savannah Airport remains open and operational. The Savannah port terminal cleared any waiting vessels last night and operations will continue until 6 p.m. this evening. All vessels have also departed the Brunswick port terminal and pilot operations have ceased until the storm passes. The Georgia Ports Authority will reassess needs and an expected timeline for return to operations on Friday. The Georgia Department of Transportation closed the Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick at 9 a.m. today, and Houlihan Bridge is closed to boat traffic only. Please visit www.dot.ga.gov for more information.
A number of Floridians have come to Georgia over the past several days, and Georgia is welcoming them with open arms. There is still reliable hotel/motel availability with sufficient capacity to meet demand. The tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development has activated the Explore Georgia hurricane information webpage to help travelers and evacuees impacted by Tropical Storm Ian find hotel room openings and lodging availability, hours of operation for the state’s nine Visitor Information Centers, and links to emergency resources.
Current Weather Overview:
Ian weakened overnight and is now a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It is currently moving off the east-central coast of Florida to the northeast at 8 mph.
The forecast track has shifted to the east since Wednesday, and Ian is expected to make a second landfall as a tropical storm in South Carolina on Friday. This has also shifted potential impacts to Georgia eastward. Heavy rainfall (2 to 4 inches of accumulation) and gusty winds (30-40 mph) will still be possible in East and Southeast Georgia today and tomorrow. Three to five feet of storm surge is still possible along the Georgia coast today and tomorrow morning. The storm will weaken inland overnight Friday before dissipating throughout the day on Saturday.
Significant impacts are still possible in eastern portions of Georgia even with the eastward track shift. A Tropical Storm Warning, Hurricane Watch, Storm Surge Warning, and Flood Watch remain in effect for the entire Georgia coast through tomorrow. A Wind Advisory is also in effect for much of North and Central Georgia. Please continue to monitor forecast updates from the National Hurricane Center, your local National Weather Service office, and reliable media outlets.
Resources for Those Affected
Governor Kemp urges all Georgians to remain weather alert and to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families. Those directly impacted by the storm's path are encouraged to consult GEMA/HS' informational website.
Explore Georgia and state tourism partners are tracking the storm and updating the hurricane information webpage regularly with information on lodging and other resources.
The Department of Agriculture has activated a disaster animal shelter that has capacity for 50 animals:
Macon, Bibb County
4214 Fulton Mill Road,
Macon, GA 31216
Georgia’s commercial and recreational food shrimp season will close as prescribed by law at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today.Biologists with DNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD), which manages the state’s marine fisheries, report a standard measure of shrimp abundance known as “catch per unit effort” was significantly lower this month compared to the 20-year average and a factor in the closure date.“Catch per unit effort—or &l...
Georgia’s commercial and recreational food shrimp season will close as prescribed by law at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today.
Biologists with DNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD), which manages the state’s marine fisheries, report a standard measure of shrimp abundance known as “catch per unit effort” was significantly lower this month compared to the 20-year average and a factor in the closure date.
“Catch per unit effort—or ‘CPUE’ for short—is measure of abundance in fisheries,” said Eddie Leonard, a CRD biologist who oversees the collection of shrimp fishery data in Georgia. “CRD’s Ecological Monitoring Trawl Survey collects shrimp data by towing a net from a trawler at 15-minute intervals at preselected sites across the Georgia coast. The CPUE is the pounds of shrimp we collect for each trawl.
“Off beaches in December, for example, we saw an average CPUE of 0.7, which means we caught an average of 0.7 pounds per trawl at all of our off-beach sites.”
CPUE is calculated for three types of locations: creeks, sounds, and beaches. The overall CPUE for December for all three sectors was an average of 2 pounds per trawl, a decrease of nearly 39 percent from the 20-year average.
A separate metric biologists use to make recommendations about shrimp fishery management is known as headcount. This measures the number of shrimp it takes to make one full pound. The average headcount for all three sectors this December was 40.3, which is generally on-par with the 20-year average of 42.9 for Decembers.
Georgia law allows the commissioner of Natural Resources to extend shrimping season beyond Dec. 31 if the headcount is 50 or fewer, as was the case in 2020 and 2019.
At the recommendation of CRD biologists, the Commissioner this year is allowing shrimp season to close as scheduled, particularly due to unseasonably cold weather in recent days.
“The low abundance of shrimp is concerning with regards to rapidly falling air temperatures,” Leonard said. “Shrimp, especially in shallow creeks and rivers, are very vulnerable to low water temperatures. Local air temperatures have been well below freezing in recent days, and the effects of this cold snap on Georgia’s shrimp population remains to be seen.”
Shrimp season generally remains closed until mid to early June. Georgia law allows for the opening of shrimp season as early as May 15, but the Commissioner of Natural Resources may postpone the date depending on shrimp abundance data and other factors. The latest date shrimp season has opened in Georgia in the last 20 years has been June 16.
Georgia had 214 licensed shrimping vessels in 2022 that collectively reported 1.75 million pounds of shrimp between January and November, a 23.2% decrease from the five-year average. This season’s reported dockside value as of today was $10.5 million, an 11.3% increase over the five-year average. Dockside value is what shrimpers are paid by wholesalers and other buyers, and not the retail market price. There may be shrimp landings yet to be reported, which could increase the season’s total weight and value.
The state food shrimp closure does not affect bait shrimping or federally managed waters three to 200 nautical miles offshore. The 2022 Georgia food shrimp season opened June 1.
Oct. 20The Liberty College and Career Academy is partnering with WorkSource Georgia and the Georgia Department of Labor to hold a job fair for transitioning service members, military spouses, veterans, retirees, and the local community.The job fair will be held at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center on Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you are interested in having a table at the fair for your business, contact Howard Brown at howard. firstname.lastname@example.org...
The Liberty College and Career Academy is partnering with WorkSource Georgia and the Georgia Department of Labor to hold a job fair for transitioning service members, military spouses, veterans, retirees, and the local community.
The job fair will be held at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center on Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you are interested in having a table at the fair for your business, contact Howard Brown at howard. email@example.com or Karisa Young at firstname.lastname@example.org. ga.us.
Rivers Alive The Rivers Alive county- wide cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Volunteers will be provided with cleaning supplies and a free T-shirt. For more information call 912-880-4888 or email: email@example.com
Diamond Dig Thomas Hill has donated 10,000 crats of diamonds and gemstones to be dug in a trough of sand. Participants will fill a bucket with sand and go to the various sifting stations in the store where the gems a will be identified. The event will benefit the United Way’s Backpack buddy program helping needy children in receiving food. The event will take place at Thomas Hill Jewelers at 115 East Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Hinesville from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Limited tickets are available. Buy one bucket for $50 or two buckets for $80. Cash or checks only. For more information call 912876-6036.
Support the Bradwell Institute Lady Tigers volleyball team by joining them for Movie Night on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 8 p.m. at the Bradwell Institute track to watch the movie, “The Miracle Season.” If you would like to join as a vendor for this event, contact Coach Dudley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Athlete admission is $1, general admission is $5. Snacks will be available to purchase. Gates open at 8 p.m. with free parking. Unstoppable Faith Movement Comedy Show will be held at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1370 Shaw Road, inside the multipurpose room behind the day care. Sandra Stevens Smalls will be the host with comedians Alisa Cody and T-Roy. Doors open at 11 a.m. Show begins at 11:30 a.m. There is a $10 registration fee. Register at: www.s3unstoppablefaith. com Vendor opportunities available.
The Annual Scarecrow Stroll will take place in downtown along Main Street. Trick or treating will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The evening will continue with a block party from 8-11 p.m. with music from Victory Drive Band, and several food vendors. The HDDA also will play the movie “Hocus Pocus” at 8 p.m.
The Seabrook Village Foundation is hosting its first annual meeting under its new leadership. It will take place Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m. followed by a cleanup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will be an opportunity for people to volunteer and learn about plans for the site. For more information call 912-376-9342.
Please arrive at 660 Trade Hill Road, Midway,. Seabrook Village is located 4 miles east of I-95 Georgia Exit 76 From I-95, travel east on Highway 38 for four miles and turn left on Trade Hill Road. Just past the Sunbury Baptist Church, turn left into the main parking area adjacent to the Bowens House Office. Come learn about the plans to re-open the facilities in 2023 as well as take advantage of the opportunity to have a free tour of the site. Everyonen who attends is asked to be prepared to volunteer to clean the grounds by performing light yardwork activities. You may confirm your participation by RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ events/790372742175351/ To learn more, visit https:// www.seabrookvillagefoundation. org.
ATLANTA – The Georgia House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $32.6 billion mid-year budget Thursday that includes a $1 billion property tax rebate worth $500 to the average homeowner.The mid-year budget, which covers state spending through June 30, sailed through the House 170-1 and now moves to the Georgia Senate. With the state sitting atop a $6.6 billion revenue surplus, the mid-year budget would increase spending by 7.8% over the fiscal 2023 budget the General Assembly adopted last spring.“This budget ...
ATLANTA – The Georgia House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $32.6 billion mid-year budget Thursday that includes a $1 billion property tax rebate worth $500 to the average homeowner.
The mid-year budget, which covers state spending through June 30, sailed through the House 170-1 and now moves to the Georgia Senate. With the state sitting atop a $6.6 billion revenue surplus, the mid-year budget would increase spending by 7.8% over the fiscal 2023 budget the General Assembly adopted last spring.
“This budget and $2 million in new revenue go a long way toward meeting the needs of Georgians,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Matt Hatchett, R-Dublin, told his legislative colleagues shortly before Thursday’s vote.
House budget writers found other uses for the surplus besides property tax relief. The mid-year budget also includes $1.1 billion to fill the revenue gap caused by the temporary suspension of the state’s gasoline tax Gov. Brian Kemp ordered last March, which wasn’t lifted until last month.
House lawmakers also approved Kemp’s request to fully fund Georgia’s Quality Basic Education k-12 student formula (QBE), at $12.4 billion the largest single expenditure in the budget. After years of falling short of the mark, the state has been able to afford full funding of the QBE for the last several years.
The mid-year budget also includes $128.2 million to account for student enrollment growth in Georgia public schools since last year.
The spending plan provides $73.1 million to the Technical College System of Georgia’s Quick Start program to build training facilities in Bryan and Newton counties to train workers for two electric-vehicle manufacturing plants being built near Covington and Savannah.
The state Department of Human Services would receive $137.4 million for the additional staffing that will be necessary to accomplish “the great unwinding” of Medicaid in April, when the federal government will relax pandemic-era regulations that prevented states from disenrolling people from Medicaid. Georgia will need to re-examine the eligibility of more than 2 million current Medicaid enrollees.
The House also added $23 million to the governor’s funding request for school security grants, enough to raise the grants from $50,000 for every school in the state to $60,000.
The mid-year budget also would provide $2.4 million to improve security at the state’s 48 domestic violence shelters.
A couple of House lawmakers questioned how the $1 billion property tax rebate would affect the coffers of local governments, which rely heavily on property taxes.
Hatchett said the tax relief would be funded out of state surplus revenue.
“The state is funding that discount,” he said. “There is no effect on cities and counties.”
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.
As supply chain tangles get worked out across the globe, the port of Savannah’s already booming business may get another boost.Stacy Watson, general manager of economic and industrial development for the Georgia Ports Authority, told the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce’s Progress Through People luncheon that more business — and more changes — are coming to the Savannah ports.For calendar year 2022, the ports handled 5.9 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), a 5% increase from 2021.“Now...
As supply chain tangles get worked out across the globe, the port of Savannah’s already booming business may get another boost.
Stacy Watson, general manager of economic and industrial development for the Georgia Ports Authority, told the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce’s Progress Through People luncheon that more business — and more changes — are coming to the Savannah ports.
For calendar year 2022, the ports handled 5.9 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), a 5% increase from 2021.
“Now that the effects of the pandemic have started to subside, we have seen retailers return to normal supply chains,” Watson said. “We think, with your help and help of local communities, what we’ve built over the years is going to be that preferred gateway for freight.”
Savannah is third busiest container port in the U.S., trailing only Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey.
“We’re looking at expanding our facilities,” Watson said.
Watson pointed out the GPA has spent $1.7 billion on expanding on the Savannah port in the last decade. Over the next 12 years, it will invest $4.5 billion in improvements.
“We walk the walk on our expansion plans,” he said.
Among those are turning Ocean terminal into an all-container facility. Currently, it handles what is known as breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off cargo, such as vehicles and construction equipment headed overseas.
Ocean terminal is right under the Talmadge Bridge spanning the Savannah River and it will close for the improvements. It is expected to reopen in mid 2024 with an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.
The ports also have a straightened a bend at Garden City terminal’s container berth 1 that will allow another big ship to dock. Straightening that bend between berths 1 and 2 is expected to allow the port to serve four 16,000-TEU vessels and three other ships simultaneously. That is projected to bring in another 1.5 million TEUs per year.
“We are spending on land and equipment,” Watson said. “We will be big ship ready on all nine of our container berths. We couldn’t fit big ships on that berth. They would stick out into the river. It is a big deal.”
The Garden City terminal is bringing in nearly 5.8 million TEUs a year, Watson said, and it has the capacity of handling 7.8 million TEUs annually.
Savannah faces competition from two other nearby ports, one just to the north in Charleston, S.C., and one just to the south in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Garden City is the jewel in the crown,” he said. “There is no other facility like it in the United States.”
The Georgia Ports also are expanding their facility in Brunswick and moving all their breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off operations, known as Ro-Ro, there. The GPA is adding to their holdings at Colonels Island, a 1,700-acre automobile handling area, to enable to accommodate more than 1.2 million vehicles per year. That would make it the No. 2 port for vehicles, behind only Baltimore.
The GPA also has inland ports at Bainbridge, one near Chatsworth in the far northwest reaches of the state and is planning another near Gainesville, to be built in the next two to three years. The ports also are looking at another in west Georgia.
As ships dock in Savannah and Brunswick, Watson pointed out those ships’ owners also want their vessels leaving port with close to full holds. Georgia is a leading exporter because of its pine trees and chickens and other natural resources.
“Ocean carriers want loaded ships going back,” Watson said. “Trees, kaolin, cotton are chicken are great for our business.”
It’s also among the top 30 container ports in the world, sitting at No. 28, and aims at moving to No. 25 this year.
“We are a world-class port in your backyard,” Watson said. “We are emphasizing we are a major player in the world.”
The Savannah ports are moving between 15,000 and 16,000 trucks a day through its gates, Watson said, the opening of the Mason mega rail facility is cutting down on that number. The 85-acre facility is the largest of its kind for a North American port terminal and once it is fully completed, it will double the port’s rail capacity to 2 million TEUs a year.
“We are cutting down on truck traffic and adding to our productivity,” Watson said.
The expanded rail facility is anticipated to handle 30% of the port’s container business in the future and help it compete with West Coast freight.
The Savannah port’s location already is an advantage, Watson said, with Interstate 16 and Interstate 95 just a few miles from the docks.
“There are so many things working together to make Savannah the preferred gateway for international trade,” Watson said.
To help it keep delivering, the ports are expanding Garden City terminal west, turning 90 acres into more room for containers. Also close to completion is a 325,000 square foot cross dock facility and adding four new ship-toshore cranes, at a cost of $20 million each.
“We are adding to yard capacity and to berth capacity,” Watson said. “We want to move more freight through our facilities in a shorter period of time, have room to build and room to grow. If we wait to expand our facilities, then we have waited too late.”
The next big issue from the ports likely will be the Talmadge Bridge, Watson said. Deepening of the harbor from 42 to 47 feet was completed last year, allowing for bigger ships to come in. But there is 185 feet of air draft from the river at high tide to the bridge, and Watson said 230 feet is needed.
State Transportation Board members have voted to go ahead with a plan to replace the cables on the bridge, opened in 1991, which would more easily raise the span and accommodate the ships entering the port.
It is expected that the bridge will remain open while the work is being done, with a price tag of up to $175 million.
The ports also have hired a sustainability director, and Watson added that the ports “love” hiring former members of the military.
The GPA has more than 1,500 acres at Garden City, and Watson said shippers do not want to move their business through a port that cannot grow. Across the state, the ports have created 550,000 jobs.
“We’ve proven over the years that we can grow our terminal,” he said. “A port is a very capital-intensive business. We are one of the most connected ports in the world. We are looking at ways we can diversify our cargo mix. No other port can deliver what we deliver.”