A key intermodal project is being revived by CSX, albeit in a scaled-down edition.
The Carolina Connector (CCX) will be built in Edgecombe County in eastern North Carolina, the state’s Department of Transportation announced.
The original $270 million facility planned for Rocky Mount was a hub-and-spoke design to serve the Mid-Atlantic region and handle mostly local traffic. The project was shelved in late 2017 after the railroad reassessed its business plans under former chief Hunter Harrison.
The NCDOT said it has reached an agreement with CSX regarding the building and operation of the hub.
“This facility will make Eastern North Carolina even more attractive to businesses looking to grow by offering a logistical solution to industry shipping challenges,” said NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon. “We are pleased to help bring this intermodal facility to Eastern North Carolina.”
The 330-acre CCX will be built on the CSX mainline and CSX will operate it. NCDOT will invest up to $118.1 million for site development and roadway construction. NCDOT conducted an economic impact evaluation in early June and determined the facility will have an indirect job impact of up to 1,300 jobs.
Once the contract is executed, site development work will begin with an anticipated completion date of 2020.
“Getting products to the customer is paramount to any business’s success,” said Carolinas Gateway Partnership Chief Executive and President Norris Tolson. “We at the Carolina Gateway Partnership are pleased that the CCX intermodal site will provide another vital link in the logistics solutions offered for our customer base in the Twin Counties and all of Eastern North Carolina. Edgecombe and Nash counties will now truly be a gateway to markets throughout the eastern part of the U.S.”
The agency said 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.