ROCKY MOUNT – Governor Roy Cooper said Thursday the new Carolina Connector (CCX) intermodal transportation facility in Edgecombe County will spur economic development and help meet the region’s growing transportation needs.
“Our country’s supply chain needs help with shipping so people and businesses can get the things they need,” said Governor Cooper. “The Carolina Connector right here in eastern North Carolina provides that help and creates good paying jobs to boot.”
Gov. Cooper was joined for today’s ceremony by leadership from the N.C. Department of Transportation, CSX Corporation and Carolinas Gateway Partnership.
The 330-acre site allows trucks to bring cargo containers to a rail yard where they are transferred to trains for transport. The facility will provide regional industries with efficient access to rail, helping connect products to consumers nationwide. CCX’s prime location also offers businesses incentive to locate to the area by creating cost-effective rail service in Nash and Edgecombe counties.
“Millions of people live within 120 miles of this terminal,” said NCDOT Secretary Eric Boyette. “The Carolina Connector will spur business development, divert thousands of trucks off highways and provide much needed jobs in this fast-growing region.”
CSX contributed $40 million to the project and is operating the facility that was built on the company’s main line. NCDOT invested $118 million for site development and road construction.
“CSX appreciates our partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and we thank the state for its contribution toward making this project possible. The CCX terminal is a demonstration of how CSX is creating sustainable supply chain solutions for customers by expanding our intermodal network in Eastern North Carolina and connecting to the busy I-95 corridor. We are proud that this project will be a catalyst for economic growth and development in the region,” said CSX Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Nathan Goldman.
Construction on the facility began in 2019. CCX will be one of the most advanced terminal on the CSX network, featuring three wide span, fully automated zero emission electric cranes with a lift capacity of 110,000 containers per year. Most of the container handling will be completely automated with operators remotely controlling the initial lift and final placement more safely from inside the terminal building.
Construction of the Carolina Connector will also allow NC Ports to start the Wilmington Midwest Express, opening up new markets by connecting Port of Wilmington customers with daily direct freight rail service to the Midwest.
“The Carolina Connector is a welcome asset for North Carolina,” commented Norris Tolson, CEO and president of Carolinas Gateway Partnership. “This event gives us the opportunity to celebrate the hard work and cooperation between NCDOT, CSX, Carolinas Gateway Partnership and other partners. This collaborative effort will pay dividends to North Carolina citizens for years to come.”
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.