A massive win — for so many reasons — along the Carolina Core Freeway

The Carolina Core Freeway — future I-685 — will link I-40 at Greensboro with I-95 north of Fayetteville, generally following the US 421 corridor.

This roadway represents an important regional link for Triangle area communities including Chatham and Lee counties, in addition to connecting the Piedmont Triad region (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Kernersville, etc.) with Fayetteville and the Sandhills. The Carolina Core Freeway will connect multiple economic development “megasites” in central North Carolina, including the Greensboro-Randolph megasite that will be the new home of Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina for electric vehicles (EV).

Monday’s $1.29 billion announcement by Toyota and Toyota Tsusho, which represents one of the largest private economic development investments in our state’s history, was many years in the making, and it will have positive repercussions for overall prosperity in the years and decades to come. This week’s announcement will certainly not be the last for the I-685 corridor or for our extended market. Other nearby megasites (e.g., the Chatham Advanced Manufacturing site near Siler City) are located nearby and will be able build upon the momentum of this announcement, in addition to proximity to the workforces from multiple metro areas including our own.

The announcement also solidifies and elevates our state’s standing on clean technology, electric vehicles (EVs) and clean energy, as we continue an ongoing transition to the electrification of mobility. With the focus on electric vehicles in the national infrastructure bill, and the announcement this week formalizing the creation of the National Highway Electrification Coalition — which includes RTA Regional Leadership Team members Duke Energy and Dominion Energy — the trajectory is clear, and accelerating. More to come on the NHEC initiative to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging nationwide in future posts.

We look forward to working with and supporting our member chambers of commerce and economic development partners in the extended Triangle region, along the Carolina Core Freeway, and across the state.

Let’s get moving,



Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation



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