ROCKY MOUNT – Representatives from the N.C. Department of Transportation, CSX Corporation and Carolinas Gateway Partnership held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the Carolina Connector (CCX) intermodal transportation facility near Rocky Mount in Edgecombe County.
“This intermodal facility will positively impact Eastern North Carolina and our state as a whole,” said Governor Cooper. “CCX will not only bring good paying jobs to our rural areas, but also connect the region to both domestic and international markets.”
The 330-acre site will allow trucks to bring cargo containers to a rail yard where they will be transferred to trains for transport. This facility will serve many industries with efficient access to rail, helping get products to customers and spur growth in the region.
In January 2016, CSX initially announced plans to built the Carolina Connector beside I-95 between Selma and Micro in Johnston County with an opening date in 2019. The plans were later scuttled by the railroad due to opposition from nearby property owners and some local elected officials. The railroad later looked at a site south of Four Oaks but withdrew consideration because of continued strong opposition from residents. The Rocky Mount location was announced several months later.
“More than 5 million people live within 120 miles of this terminal,” NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon said Wednesday. “The Carolina Connector will spur business development, divert thousands of trucks off highways and provide much-needed jobs in this fast-growing region.”
The facility will be built on the CSX mainline and CSX will run it. NCDOT is investing up to $118.1 million for site development and roadway construction. NCDOT conducted an economic impact evaluation last year and determined the facility will have an estimated indirect job impact of up to 1,300 jobs.
“CSX appreciates the partnership it has developed with the N.C. Department of Transportation and we commend the state for its leadership in making this project possible. CSX is excited to expand its network in Rocky Mount and believes CCX will be a catalyst for economic growth and development in the eastern North Carolina region,” said CSX CEO James Foote.
Construction should take 18-20 months, with an estimated completion date of late 2020.
“The CCX Carolina Connector is a welcome addition to the businesses locating in Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County. This multimodal hub is a great win for all this area as it adds a tax base to our books, jobs to our communities and opportunities for our future,” commented Norris Tolson, CEO and president of Carolinas Gateway Partnership. “It is truly a game changer for all of North Carolina, especially eastern North Carolina.”
The project was scored and evaluated per North Carolina’s data-driven process that allows NCDOT to invest available funds more efficiently and effectively to enhance the state’s infrastructure, while supporting economic growth, job creation and a higher quality of life.