Business & Economy
2:10 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

DOT Evaluating NC Ports

The state Department of Transportation says it's considering ways to improve activity at North Carolina's ports. The agency is conducting a study it says is designed to explore options for expansion. The Ports Authority proposed building an international port near Southport in 2006. Opponents citing environmental concerns fear the state will use the study to justify building the mega-port. DOT spokeswoman Greer Beaty says the agency will consider every proposal.

Greer Beaty: "This isn't just we'll do a study and come out and say we're going to do something. We're gathering all the information, we're getting the input from the community, we're looking at what people want, and then how to achieve our ultimate goal to meet the needs of the public."

Transportation Secretary Gene Conti says the DOT is also looking at modernizations at the state's existing ports in Morehead City and Wilmington. The study is expected to cost about $1.7 million.