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New Carolina Connector will be an Economic Game-Changer for NC

| Infrastructure

CSX Transportation, one of the nation’s four largest freight railroads, announced Tuesday that it has solidified plans to construct a state-of-the-art intermodal rail terminal right here in North Carolina. The new Carolina Connector terminal (CCX) will be located in Edgecombe County in the eastern part of the state, with construction slated to wrap up in 2020. It will be an immediate game-changer in spurring positive economic growth, as construction alone is projected to create between 250 and 300 short-term jobs and 300 long-term jobs, while long-term impacts from the entire project could add 1,500 statewide jobs over time and create $329 million in public benefits.

“This will be a facility that will fit into the landscape of this region like you’ve never seen before,” Gov. McCrory said in a public statement Tuesday. “And yet it will be a logistics facility that will connect us with the rest of the United States of America.”

The NC Chamber has recognized the beneficial impacts a facility like the CCX could have on our state’s competitive business climate. Earlier this year, we put our support behind the facility’s construction with a series of paid radio ads. We are excited that the CCX is finally set to become a reality. As has been seen with similar terminals located elsewhere, new economic growth will come not only from retailers and other businesses that establish logistics centers near the facility, but also from local businesses providing goods and services directly to the terminal. Even better, the CCX will bolster North Carolina’s already strong position as a key regional logistics and transportation hub, providing our vital port system with better access to major regional markets and helping strengthen connections between nonurban communities and urban commerce centers.

Additional benefits accruing from the new terminal will come in the form of reduced congestion on North Carolina’s highways; high-capacity intermodal trains will allow a greater, more efficient flow of commerce by rail, saving an estimated $16 million in highway maintenance costs statewide and helping to cut CO2 emissions by 400,000 tons. Of course, one other major benefit cannot be overstated: the decision by CSX to locate this state-of-the-art terminal here, and the willingness of state leaders to work to secure the necessary funding through our Strategic Transportation Investment program, both send a competitive message that we are indeed open for business here in North Carolina!

The NC Chamber has no doubt that our state will continue to see the benefits of this new project for decades to come. We thank CSX Transportation and applaud all organizations and individuals involved who helped bring the CCX home. To learn more about the CCX intermodal terminal and its projected benefits for North Carolina, check out this informative article from the Triangle Business Journal.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber