BATTLEBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – After years of construction, the new $158 million Carolina Connector Intermodal Transportation Facility in Edgecombe County is now open.

Gov. Roy Cooper believes the 320-acre, multi-modal freight facility will help address supply chain issues across the U.S.

“Rail is a key efficient way to get goods from one place to the next,” Cooper said during the grand opening of the facility on Thursday.

The massive facility is parallel to the CSX rail line. It has the capacity to move 110,000 cargo containers every year.

“When you think about our North Carolina ports and the Wilmington Midwest Express and how we can connect by rail our ports, and get goods shipped from one place to another and in a faster, more efficient, more cost-effective way,” Cooper said.

With that will come more opportunities. The governor is confident the facility will lead to spin-off businesses and indirectly bring up to 1,500 jobs to the eastern part of the state.

“We’re hoping to jointly be able to market the Carolina Connector out there to encourage more businesses that use it,” Cooper said of the public-private partnership. “The more businesses that use it, the more economic gain we will see.”