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Growing demand for east coast port space

WILMINGTON -- There's a growing demand for port space here on the east coast as west coast ports reach capacity. The Port of Wilmington is nearing capacity and going through expansion projects. But a brand new port is in the region's future. The Ports Authority owns 600 acres of land in Southport, the site of the future North Carolina international port. Although years away, it's already generating plenty of debate between locals. Ports Authority CEO Tom Eagar says the new port would generate an annual $1.2 billion for the state and supply 10,000 direct jobs along with the port of Wilmington. An environmental impact study is crucial. Eagar said, "I still have a lot of questions that I want answered regarding some assumptions. Obviously that's a critical document because that justifies the feasibility of moving forward with the project." The port would also add to the local infrastructure concerns. One million trucks are estimated to come through the new port each year. But the DOT has limited funding to help with new roads. The international port is a private-public partnership and the ports authority heavily relies on private investors.

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