RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in
NCDOT Now, the department’s weekly newscast.
Carolina Connector Groundbreaking
As North Carolina’s population grows, it’s more important than ever to make infrastructure investments that encourage mobility and support the economy, ensuring people and goods can get where they need to go.
State and local representatives broke ground this week on one such investment in Rocky Mount, called the Carolina Connector. Through a partnership between the department and CSX Corporation, this intermodal facility will allow trucks to bring cargo containers to a rail yard where they will be transferred to trains for transport.
The site will serve many industries with efficient access to rail, helping get products to customers and spur growth in the region. Construction is expected to take 18-20 months.
New NC Ports Crane
Statewide transportation connectivity is vital to a strong economy. The Carolina Connector facility will provide an inland location for containers coming from North Carolina’s ports to have a reach into the northeastern, Triangle and Triad markets, among others.
Earlier this month, North Carolina’s third neo-Panamax crane arrived at the Port of Wilmington after traveling from China. The addition of the crane enables the Port of Wilmington to operate vessels carrying 14,000 containers – the largest ships currently stopping on the East Coast.
North Carolina’s ports in Wilmington and Morehead City link the state’s consumers, business and industry to world markets. They contribute to more than 87,000 jobs and $678 million in tax revenues each year.
Sugar Creek Road Bridge Opening
Another example of ongoing efforts to make strategic investments in transportation is the opening of the Sugar Creek Road bridge in Charlotte last week.
Because of the number of daily trains and vehicles that use it, the Sugar Creek railroad crossing was the busiest in the state. This rail corridor sees more than 40 Norfolk Southern Railway freight trains and 10 passenger trains each day.
The bridge will improve safety for drivers, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians, and will also help keep traffic and trains moving efficiently through the busy area.