Local News

Northampton County 'On Track' For Auto Testing Facility

Posted July 12, 2004 4:52 a.m. EDT

— A stretch of land on Interstate 95 in Northampton County is on track for an automotive testing facility.

"The project is intended to provide the newest and most comprehensive center available for testing and development of automotive-related products," said Gary Brown, of Northampton County Economic Development.

The project could mean up to 500 jobs locally and a ripple effect for as many as 20,000 jobs statewide. The public-private partnership would have a wide range of projects from university engineering designs to the federal government's willingness to test new alternative fuels.

The cost to the state would be $4 million, plus a bunch of tax breaks for whoever builds the testing facility.

"I think this is a very targeted area for an area that's very depressed economically as far as jobs go," said state Rep. Lucy Allen, D-Halifax.

Northampton County is working on securing nearly 1,000 acres of land on I-95. The site is not far from from a new regional airport near Roanoke Rapids that is scheduled to open in three years.