Warehouse Moratorium Sought in Suburban Georgia to Slow Road Damage

Traffic from the area's booming distribution centers is damaging local roads and causing concern among residents.

January 27, 2021, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Savannah, Georgia

A truck on the Talmadge Bridge over the Savannah River. | Tom Dorsz / Shutterstock

Henry County, Georgia is booming with distribution centers and warehouses that have driven close to 35% of the county's growth over the last decade and a half. "The success, however, has come at a cost," reports Leon Stafford in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The massive warehouses, some as big as 20 football fields, have put unprecedented strain on the county's roads and caught officials unprepared for the backlash and damaged infrastructure. "Roads are choked with truck congestion, which in turn has made potholes cracking under the weight of tractor-trailers ubiquitous," writes Stafford.

Some county leaders are proposing a moratorium on additional warehouses until a plan to fix damaged roads, better accommodate trucks and passenger cars, and implement future taxes can be worked out. Others worry the move could endanger the county's relationship with major employers and send an anti-business signal to companies considering a move to Henry. The county sits squarely in the path of goods leaving the ports at Savannah, but "the state’s push to connect that business to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport did not come with adequate road expansions for distribution hubs like Henry that became part of the system." The Board of Commissioners delayed a vote on a moratorium last month, citing a need for further study.

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