CSX Outlines Plans for North Carolina Intermodal Hub
CSX has outlined plans to develop a major freight-rail intermodal terminal to boost the economy of the region surrounding Raleigh, North Carolina.
The proposed Carolina Connector, or CCX, facility will serve as an intermodal transportation hub that is expected to “spur economic development and an estimated $329 million in public benefits to North Carolina,” according to CSX and state officials.
The estimated cost to build the project is $272 million. CSX has pledged to invest $150 million, and the project is contingent on securing a $100 million in infrastructure investment funds that have been proposed in the state’s Strategic Transportation Investment (STI) process, according to a CSX spokesman.
The proposed facility “will have a major impact on the state’s ports and rail systems,” said North Carolina Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “The CCX will serve as a critical link between the Port of Wilmington and businesses from the Piedmont to the coast, transporting shipping containers over the nationwide rail network.”
Announcement of the plans to build the terminal has drawn opposition, particularly from the members of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, who have sided with a growing number of residents who say the CCX would force them out of their homes and businesses.
According to Johnston County land records, construction of the 500-acre CCX would reportedly affect as many as 60 parcels of property and 35 landowners.
The board recently released a statement stating that it “does not support plans for the CCX at the footprint the project’s advocates had envisioned. The board continues to believe that CCX represents economic development opportunities for eastern North Carolina, including Johnston County, and hopes that alternative sites can be identified that reconciles the project’s location needs with the desires of property owners that are willing to sell their land.”
CSX countered, urging commissioners to “continue an open dialogue about this economic development opportunity,” noting that the project is only in the seventh day of a multi-year process.
The project, “could produce 300 short-term construction jobs as well as 300 additional permanent jobs with CSX,” the rail carrier said, adding that it “also welcomed the opportunity to meet with the community” to discuss the project.
“We want to listen and we believe that by working with the commissioners and concerned citizens, we can reach a mutually beneficial accommodation- one that reflects Johnston County’s values and creates economic opportunities,” it said.