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CSX plans $150M intermodal container terminal in eastern NC

January 14, 2016

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) — CSX announced Thursday it will spend $150 million to build an intermodal terminal in eastern North Carolina that will initially create up to 300 construction jobs.

The terminal will be located between Selma and Micro off Interstate 95 in Johnston County. The railroad company said the project could help create as many as 1,500 jobs statewide by 2035. The 500-acre “Carolina Connector” terminal will transfer shipping containers between trucks and trains including those serving the state’s ports in Morehead City and Wilmington.

CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, cautioned the project is contingent on $100 million in transportation funds from North Carolina. A formal request already has been made with the state Department of Transportation. Overall project spending is set for $272 million.

Gov. Pat McCrory, whose administration includes DOT, released a statement suggesting the project is a likely candidate for state funds. He said the state’s new transportation project scoring system emphasizes economic development and job creation.

“Enhancing freight movement through eastern North Carolina and the state ports is a key part of my 25-year transportation vision,” McCrory said in a release.

South Carolina opened an inland terminal in Greer, near Interstate 85, in 2013.

CSX has constructed terminals similar to the one projected for Johnston County in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“We are excited about developing infrastructure within North Carolina that makes the state’s ports more competitive, lowers transportation costs for business, and promotes reliance on freight rail, the most fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly form of land transportation,” CSX Vice President Louis Renjel said in a release.

The 1,500 positions envisioned would originate at the terminal as well as through indirect positions generated through industrial growth and supporting business, CSX spokeswoman Kristin Seay wrote in an email.

Johnston County, which is becoming a bedroom community of Raleigh — North Carolina’s capital city — last summer landed a $1.2 billion Novo Nordisk plant that the pharmaceutical company said would employ 700 people.

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