From the roads to the skies – mobility innovation and economic growth
- January 27, 2022
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Blog
In a recent weekly blog, I noted that the Carolina Core Freeway — future I-685 — will link I-40 at Greensboro with I-95 north of Fayetteville. Several segments of the corridor, which generally follows existing US 421, are already a freeway. Future I-685 will directly serve a number of communities, including Sanford in our region, while linking Chatham and Lee counties with both the Piedmont Triad area (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Kernersville) to the northwest and Fayetteville and the Sandhills to the southeast.
Last month, we learned that a more than $1 billion investment by Toyota and Toyota Tsusho at the Greensboro-Randolph megasite along the corridor would be the new home of Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina for electric vehicles (EV).
This week brought North Carolina another major announcement involving transportation innovation and manufacturing. Boom Supersonic announced plans to build supersonic jets at a new factory located at the Piedmont Triad airport in Greensboro. This second flagship economic development win for advanced transportation in two months also heralds the opportunity for the next generation in aviation for the First in Flight state.
These investments in electric batteries, supersonic aviation, and advanced manufacturing broadly will also provide and complement opportunities in our region, as noted by a number of partners with RTA Steering Committee organizations, including Michael Haley, executive director of Wake County Economic Development, and Ryan Regan who leads economic development with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce. Regan recently remarked that almost 50% of the projects in Durham’s economic development pipeline involve companies in the electric vehicle sector, while Haley noted that the overall size of active projects for the County exceeds $2 billion in potential investment, with advanced manufacturing one of the primary target areas.
RTA will continue work with and support our member chambers of commerce and economic development partners in our extended region, as the entire state accelerates into new technology, new jobs, and a new future for mobility.
Let’s get moving,
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director
RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation