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Cooper slated to attend CSX groundbreaking

Cooper Cabinet

Gov. Roy Cooper

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Tar Heel State's chief executive is going to be at the upcoming groundbreaking of CSX’s proposed intermodal rail facility.

Gov. Roy Cooper's spokesman, Ford Porter confirmed the gathering is on Cooper's schedule. The event is set for 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Gateway Technology Center at N.C. Wesleyan College.

The CSX facility is going to be located off U.S. 301, across from the front entrance of the college in Edgecombe County.

When completed, the facility is going to be a place for freight trains to arrive, with the freight to be off-loaded onto other trains or trucks for distribution.

CSX, based in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2016 announced plans to build a facility, but CSX eventually put those plans on hold and reassessed the company’s business model.

In June, the state Department of Transportation and CSX announced they had reached an agreement on a scaled back facility.

CSX is planning to contribute at least $40 million to the project and the state transportation department is going to invest up to at least $118 million.

State transportation officials have said they believe the facility is going to have an indirect impact of up to 1,300 jobs.

State Transportation spokesman Andrew Barksdale has also said plans for Wednesday's gathering are for the speakers to include state Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon, state Board of Transportation member Gus Tulloss and Carolinas Gateway Partnership President and CEO Norris Tolson.

The partnership is the business and industrial recruiter in Edgecombe and Nash Counties.

Wednesday's groundbreaking also is going to mark the second time Cooper, 61, a Nash County native, has been to a gathering in the area this year.

On March 23, he was the keynote speaker at the 2019 North Carolina Youth of the Year Awards Luncheon, which was hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs and held at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

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