Georgia Opens New Welcome Center on I-95

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, March 13th, 2017

State Transportation Board member Ann R. Purcell and STB Chair Robert Brown joined Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. and Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson in officially opening Georgia’s brand new Welcome Center. The Chatham County facility is the first Georgia Welcome Center location to greet travelers along the I-95 corridor.

“It is a great day today in Coastal Georgia as we open the state’s first new Welcome Center in over a decade,” STB member Ann Purcell said. “We are proud to have this sophisticated state of the art building right here in Chatham County.”

The newly constructed 22,000 square-foot Georgia Welcome Center is designed to serve as a showcase for all the Coastal Georgia region has to offer. Unique and inspiring displays are located throughout the new facility to help enhance the visitor experience, and were created through a special public-private partnership between the Georgia DOT, the Golden Isles Convention & Visitors Bureau and Visit Savannah, a division of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce.

“New technology and energy conservation measures like highly efficient computerized HVAC systems and LED lighting make this new Welcome Center truly remarkable,” Georgia DOT Commissioner McMurry said. “I am certain that this brand new facility, with its welcoming amenities and interactive displays, will host millions of happy visitors in the coming years.”

The nine Georgia Welcome Centers across the state are jointly operated by the Georgia DOT and the GDEcD. GDEcD staff serve as day-to-day contacts for the public seeking to learn more about Georgia’s many sites of interest and natural attractions. Georgia DOT is in the process of renovating or replacing other centers throughout Georgia.

"With the opening of this new state of the art Visitor Information Center we are able to provide millions of travelers with a wide range of travel assistance including friendly trip-planning help from knowledgeable staff, state travel guides, and travel tips that help influence their decisions to stay in Georgia and explore our state," said Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Georgia Visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Department of Economic Development. "Our friendly Visitor Information Center staff are the face of Georgia, they greet every visitor with a warm welcome and a dose of the Southern hospitality that we are known for."

Construction on the new Georgia Welcome Center located in Chatham County on I-95 near the State Route 21 Interchange began in May 2015 at a cost of approximately $10.2 million. The facility was designed by The Architecture Group; ARCADIS served as the civil/site engineers; RW Allen, LLC was the contractor; and the Georgia State Finance and Investment Commission managed the procurement and contracting. In addition to the display areas, the new facility includes parking for passenger and commercial vehicles, vending machine services, picnic facilities, pet trails and restrooms.