The Appalachian Regional Port is a $42 million inland terminal that serves as a distribution and advanced manufacturing site in Murray County. The 42-acre transportation hub has its share of supporters who claim that the facility takes pressure off professional truck operators and motor vehicle drivers throughout the area. Some support the project for the jobs it brings. Others, however, see adverse effects that come with aggressive growth and the resulting traffic that growth brings.

More Vehicles Could Mean More Accidents

Increasing capacity comes with consequences. The highway to the Savanna port was already infamous as one of the busiest roads in the Southeast. There, bottlenecks have been the rule, not the exception. More traffic equals a greater chance of collisions. And in a collision with a truck, cars and the people inside them are more likely to bear the brunt of the impact. While plans are in place to identify routes that would be affected most by industrial traffic — specifically schools and residential areas. Regardless of where the trucks are traveling, however, more large vehicles traveling at significant speeds could spell peril for local residents running errands or driving to work.

Area residents cite the possibility of reduced property values, health risks, and environmental effects. However, the larger problem comes from more trucks traveling on roads with drivers who may be operating their massive vehicles while fatigued or even under the influence. That combination can spell catastrophe for many in spite of the economic benefits the port could bring.