Despite the initial outlay local politicians and industry are clear that the money would be an investment, securing far-reaching benefits such as new jobs (statewide, an estimated 50,000 jobs would be created), new residents, new roads and a new rail line for the area.
If it built, the port is still 8-10 years away from completion and much work needs to be done before then. The 9.5 mile channel from the Atlantic Ocean would need to be deepened to provide access for container ships. Once built, it could very possibly compete with ports in Norfolk, VA, Savannah, GA and Charleston.
The timeframe for exploring the viability of the port is that land is expected to have been point by March 2006. Sources said that three of the top five terminal operators in the world have already expressed serious interest.
Demand is certainly there. Container shipping business along the East Coast is expected to double by 2015, and existing ports have recognised this, themselves constructing more terminals to handle increasing trade.