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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I too hope they plan for the roads to alliviate the mountain of traffic that a new port will create before, during & after construction of the port. Also I believe that it will even though it may create new jobs it will also be a huge contributor to the destruction of the environment. I pray that the powers that be will realize that our precious coastline is shrinking, the reason why most folks move here & it's becoming increasingly difficult for our fishing industry to continue. The wild seafood nurseries are in the marsh & they are decreasing in huge numbers with growth & development but it seems that they don't care.
I wonder how all those retirees locating along NC 211 are going to enjoy hundreds of tractors and semi-trailers creating traffic jams along the entire length from Southport to Bolton? As a new traffic light gets installed at every new subdivision, the combination of hundreds of trucks, beach traffic, and traffic lights should mean that the sheriff will never need to set up the radar on 211. You likely won't get over twenty from May thru September. Freighliners pulling thirty tons aren't known for their amazing acceleration. NC 133 won't fare much better. Most trucks heading West will use 211, but the trucks heading North, South, and some heading West will be using NC 133 to get on I-40 and I-95. It will be just like living in Bayonne or Newark! Welcome home!
I know the area developers and investors have been nosing around Southport for several years. They know to follow the money. I hope for the first time in the history of southeastern NC, the roads are properly planned for a future project. Maybe with the state poised to benefit, it will happen.
We don't need no dirty stinking port.