Rep. Pirkle talks transportation, infrastructure

"We have needs all over the state."
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 5:37 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Representative Clay Pirkle sat down with WALB’s Jim Wallace to talk about transportation and infrastructure.

Wallace: I am joined now by Representative Clay Pirkle of Ashburn.  He has been named the Chair for the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Transportation and Infrastructure. That is a very important post because Clay, with the growth of both population and new industry in Georgia, there is a lot of needs for transportation and infrastructure.

Pirkle: You are right, Jim. Thank you. (Some) 330 million vehicles miles are traveled on GDOT-maintained roads a day. Can you believe that? (Some) 330 million vehicle miles a day. We have needs all over the state. We have them in Southwest Georgia. We have them right now where I am at in Atlanta. We have them all over.  Everyone is impacted by transit.

Wallace: And of course, it’s not just the roads. Obviously a lot of things, the rails being grown across from the port.  We have a lot of infrastructure that’s thankfully brought on by new industry.

Pirkle: Yes we do. We actually have 4,600 miles of rail in the state of Georgia. (Some) 1,500 of it is shortline rail miles. So we have a lot of maintenance we have to do. Actually, the State of Georgia owns 500 miles of those rail miles that we have. Aviation. We’re moving a lot of people and product with airplanes now. We have 105 public use airports across the state. And we should not forget we got that port that you mentioned.  The largest and fastest growing container terminal in North America, in Savannah.

Wallace: (On Wednesday) the House committee assignments for chairs were made. And a lot of South Georgia representatives were named chairmen in those assignments. People who remember the two Georgia thoughts, should they be happy because of (Wednesday’s) actions at the Gold Dome?

Pirkle: I would think so. We are well represented in South Georgia with chairs of really important committees.  You know in the Albany area, we’ve got Chairman Greene, who’s been around for quite some time. If you recall last year, he secured some funding for this Albany terminal we have. We’ve got Chairman Darlene Taylor, we’ve got Chairman Corbett around the Valdosta area. Chairman LaHood. We’ve got chairmen, the majority whip in South Georgia. So we’ve got a lot of great potential in South Georgia.