Johnny Isakson's Position Statement on Transportation

As a former member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the former senior Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I know the importance of investment in transportation and infrastructure for our state. Maintaining and expanding current infrastructure leads to job creation for Georgia, both in infrastructure construction jobs and the jobs increased in reliable capacity brings to our state.

Our state’s population is expected to grow by almost 45 percent between now and 2030, making it the eighth fastest growing state and the eighth most populous state in the nation. Meeting these increased demands on our infrastructure will require a collective effort on the federal, state and local level to ensure that we have an efficient and effective transportation and infrastructure system in Georgia.

Aviation
Georgia is home to the world’s busiest airport, the world’s largest airline, numerous general aviation manufacturers and growing airports across the state.  

When I served on the Senate Commerce Committee, I led the effort to secure authorization and funding to build a fifth runway at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. This will help ensure that the airport has the ability to grow and can continue to be the world’s premiere international hub and gateway.

Surface Transportation
I have worked for many years to ensure we don’t continue to ‘kick the can down the road’ in small funding bursts as we have in the past, but instead put into place sensible, long-term plans to give federal infrastructure projects stability without adding to our debt. On Dec. 3, 2015, we accomplished just that by passing the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST Act through Congress.

The FAST Act is a victory for commuters, businesses, and road builders because it finally provides much-needed certainty for state and local transportation projects.

Georgia’s total share over the five years of this critical legislation will total close to $8 billion in federal funds. Additionally, the legislation gives Georgia the ability to prepare for the next five years, and with a focus on innovation, Georgia can better position technology to improve the state transportation network.

Ports and Maritime
The ports of Savannah, Brunswick, Bainbridge and Columbus are critical access points for the seamless flow of commerce and goods between our state and the global marketplace.

I have led efforts with my colleagues to ensure that the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, also known as SHEP, stays on track. With the widening of the Panama Canal to allow bigger cargo ships to pass through, the expansion of the Savannah Harbor is one of the most important projects to our entire state and critical to Georgia’s economic future. The expansion of this port’s infrastructure is essential to helping the Port of Savannah maintain its position as a gateway for business to Georgia, and it remains the number one economic development project for our state.

I also tirelessly worked to secure funding for the deepening of the Brunswick Harbor. This funding allowed the dredging of the full channel entrance to 400 feet wide and 36 feet deep, letting the port accommodate larger cargo vessels and attract new business. Brunswick is the leading harbor for the import and export of vehicles in to and out of our country.

Rail
I believe passenger and freight rail are key components of our nation’s infrastructure. Passenger and freight rail provide an energy efficient solution to move people and goods over distances both long and short. We must make investments in freight and passenger rail infrastructure to fully realize its potential in the future. I will work to ensure that we expand our rail infrastructure.


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