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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hardeeville, SC – The bi-state board overseeing the Jasper Ocean Terminal today voted to support a new interchange off Interstate 95 in South Carolina to serve the future port facility.
The Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Project Office (JPO) Board of Directors, which consists of officials from Georgia and South Carolina, met at the Hardeeville City Hall, its first official meeting in Jasper County where the Jasper Terminal site is located. The Board voted to support the $121.6-million project, which includes the new interchange at I-95 and other area road improvements. Jasper County and the City of Hardeeville are sponsoring the proposal, which seeks funding from the South Carolina State Infrastructure Bank.
“The Joint Project Office is working diligently to lay the foundation for development and construction of the Jasper Ocean Terminal,” said JPO Chairman William L. Bethea Jr. of Hilton Head. “The Exit 3 project could help us begin to address the inland transportation challenges.”
Other transportation planning work is also underway. Last fall, the JPO hired the engineering firm of Moffatt & Nichol to assist with work on the project, such as the on-going infrastructure planning. The results of traffic modeling will help determine highway network impacts, likely pointing to other required infrastructure development.
The JPO took the action at its board meeting following a presentation by Ted Felder, economic development director for the City of Hardeeville. The JPO will formally convey its support of the Exit 3 project in a letter from Mr. Bethea to Hardeeville Mayor Bronco Bostick.
In addition to the interchange, the proposal calls for expansion of Purrysburg Road from two to four lanes from I-95 southbound to U.S. 17, an east-west connector roadway from Purrysburg Road to U.S. 321 and intersection improvements at U.S. 321 and 17 and U.S. 170 and 17.
According to the presentation, the exit could create nearly 4,000 construction jobs within five years and open up hundreds of acres of prime property that could house distribution and warehousing operations as well as residential and commercial developments. Estimated job creation from the roadway and associated real estate developments over a 30-year period exceeds 28,000 jobs.
The town has applied for more than $68 million from the State Infrastructure Bank. When added to a 44 percent local match of $53 million, a total of $121.6 million in funds would be dedicated to the project.