After years of planning, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport's intermodal transportation hub is a go. Crews can transfer freight between planes, trains and trucks.
“This is a big deal,” Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said.
“It's our intention for this to be the most effective, most efficient transfer point on the eastern seaboard,” Airport Director Jerry Orr said.
Local leaders expect the hub to spark $9 billion in business over the next 20 years and create thousands of jobs, depending on how many companies pop up around the site. In 2010, officials estimated 5,000 jobs. They wouldn't give an estimate Wednesday.
Crews already cleared the area. They plan to officially break ground late next year.
Norfolk Southern is putting up $90 million in the beginning and more after that. And it is leasing the airport space for $1 million each year. Airport dollars and stimulus money will cover the cost, too.
Right now, Charlotte's transportation hub is in north Charlotte, near the train station. Trucks constantly come and go. Eyewitness News counted more than one per minute. Official numbers say 500 per day. People hauling the cargo, like Bruce Anthony, said, "A whole lot."