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Wilmington port prepares for expansion

READ MORE: Wilmington port prepares for expansion
WILMINGTON -- The port of Wilmington has supplied jobs and money locally and statewide for decades. Now it's trying to keep up with the pressure of rapid growth. By 2020 we will see big things from the North Carolina State Ports Authority. The port of Wilmington is already preparing for growth with an expansion project. The port of Wilmington's cranes are some of the most visible examples of how the port is growing. The container yard is expected to double by the year 2020, which CEO Tom Eagar says is a necessity. "We are at capacity today. If you walk through these warehouses, they're full. You take a look at the yard, it's just about full," Eagar said. The local port relies heavily on local roadways, which is a big area of concern. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said, "We have increased our commerce, we have increased our business, we have increased our truck traffic, and yet at the same time we haven't increased our roads or improved upon our road conditions." Eagar said, "The infrastructure development is really a critical component of our plans, and that is the completion of the I-140 beltway, the Cape Fear skyway bridge, the upgrade of Highway 74 to interstate quality." For the port of Wilmington, 2020 means increased volume. About 350,000 trucks move through the port's gates each year. By 2020 that number is expected to double to 700,000. The port's economic impact may be the most crucial impact of all; increased business on our waterways will continue to bring in local income as well as state tax revenue. There are limitations to how port business can increase. Eagar said, "You start thinking about having to deepen the existing Cape Fear navigation channel to what the new standard is evolving at 50 to 52 feet depth, you can't do it." Though there are restrictions to expanding the waterway, Eagar says the land north and south of the port's gates will be further developed. Projections show the port of Wilmington will continue to serve as much of an economic impact as ever before. "We'll always have a port in the city of Wilmington, it's where it began and they will never allow that port to close down, I believe that," Eagar said. By 2020 port expansion projects are expected to have been completed for a while. But as you heard, the port of Wilmington can only handle so much growth -- so another big project is in the works... We'll tell you all about it on Monday.

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I agree with you about the truck traffic on Carolina Beach road and shipyard. But, it isn't all trucks drivers. Remember this when you are changing the DVD in the DVD player or on the Cell phone trying to read or eat or write. That if you can't see the mirrors on the truck that the driver can't see you. Think about that the next time you are following to close. and remember they have about 13 or more gears and they need room. I think if we watch for each other. Things would improve. And when you see one pull out look a head. Go get in the other lane instead of riding the back end of the truck and then get mad because he or she pull out. They are trying to make a living also. Think about that next time you go to the store... It got there one way or the other, truck, plane, bus, rail car,

Port City

We are the port city, and Wilmington was the largest city in North Carolina as late as 1910 because of the port. All our history goes back the city's port, and of course Fort Fisher. But once again problems emerge from our inadequate area road system. For many decades Raleigh government overlooked our roadway needs in southeastern NC basically because we had no political clout to get highway funding, and we had no effective area leadership to represent our needs. We are paying the price now. So let's stay on it, we are making progress!

without trucks america stops

You should address your concerns to the local police dept. and city officials.

Skyway Bridge anyone?

If this article alone does not justify why we need that big ole bridge then we really can't invision the year 2020. Lets see, a truck pulls out of the ports, makes a right, makes another right, and is routed to 74/76, 421, I40 and 140 as well as 17 North and South and never travels on Carolina Beach Rd., The Cape Fear Bridge, Market or South College or Shipyard and Oleander. Best of all their companys pay's the toll for them. So why do people want to fight this issue? Lack of vision is my guess.

Just get the trucks off CBR/Front/3rd

I think it's great that the Port is growing...I just hope that by 2020 (hopefully sooner) they can get the trucks off Carolina Beach Road, 3rd Street and Front Street. It's bad enough the trucks don't follow the speed limits or stop at red lights but with more trucks on the road that'll just lead to more accidents and more wear and tear on the Memorial Bridge. Hopefully they'll figure it out now because knowing the city it'll take until 2020 until something's done to reduce the impact these trucks will make in this area.

Just took the

Just took the city/state THREE years to add two lanes on a 1/2 mile stretch on Military Cutoff. Imagine how long it will take to do a port expansion...

trucks and Accidents?

Just as a matter of information - Trucks around the Port, on the roads you have noted, account for less the 1% of all vehicle crashes.

Trucks and politicians

That company VOPAK and the people that run that place are giving thousands in every campaign to the politicians that support them in letting them use the local roads that lead directly to their place of business. Just go by there and look at the truck traffic. From the mayor of Wilmington which received tens of thousands to the Governor of the state that received much more, they are working to preserve the truck routes that make them more profitable no matter the risk to you, yours and your kids on school buses.

You are pretty much without

You are pretty much without any connection to reality. Where did this information come from? None of the political databases I just searched show any political contributions from anyone who works for Vopak, and while there could be some that don't show up, I don't think what you say could be true when absolutely none show up. And why would you think businesses that make lots of truck traffic wouldn't want the best and safest possible access roads? If they were giving that kind of money to politicians, Front Street wouldn't look the way it does!

Contributions for Favors

This is interesting stuff...keep us posted.