Wilmington, NC – The international port is planned for 600 acres of land on the Cape Fear River just north of Southport. It's designed to take in nearly two million containers a year, rivaling the Port of Charleston.
The North Carolina State Ports Authority made a $3 million down payment on the land last month, and says the next step is to close on the property in March.
After that, there will be environmental impact studies and impact assessments by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Bald Head Island officials say they are worried that dredging for the new port will cause major beach erosion on the island, and that they want to work with the state ports to make sure it doesn't happen.
The North Carolina State Ports Authority estimates it will cost $1 billion to build the new port, and say it will open by 2015.