The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Wednesday (October 27th) announced the awarding of state transportation economic development grants that will support 4,473 jobs in nine Michigan counties. Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grants totaling $7,987,303 will leverage more than $845,962,716 in private investment at a private/public ratio of 106-to-1. The grants will fund road improvement projects in Allegan, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lenawee, Macomb, Midland, Roscommon, and Washtenaw counties. Many of the developments associated with the projects have previously been announced.
“Across the state, Michigan’s roads are pathways of commerce that play a crucial role in our economy,” said Gov. Jennifer Granholm. “These transportation grants will support economic development and almost 4,500 Michigan jobs by improving roads in nine counties.”
“Transportation is the backbone of Michigan’s economy,” said State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle. “These grants will keep commercial traffic moving safely and efficiently in locations across the state in order to attract and retain a diverse range of employers.”
The TEDF “Category A” or “Target Industries Program” is aimed specifically at providing transportation improvements that encourage private investments in Michigan that will create or retain jobs. These road improvements will help accommodate increased traffic and provide commercial routes that are safe and more efficient for new and expanding companies. Private companies, townships, cities, county road commissions and MDOT are providing $13,647,062 in matching funds (63 percent) for these projects.
Below is information about approved “Category A” projects in three Southwest Michigan counties:
Allegan and Kalamazoo counties
JBS is the third-largest beef processor in the United States and currently processes, warehouses and distributes beef at its Plainwell facility in Cooper Township, Kalamazoo County, and Gun Plain Township, Allegan County. To increase production capacity, the company plans to invest $43,000,000 to construct a new warehouse and distribution center that will result in the retention of 40 jobs.
The main haul route for JBS trucks to and from the Plainwell facility is 12th Street in Kalamazoo County, which becomes 11th Street in Allegan County. Currently, 12th Street is in poor condition and is subject to seasonal weight restrictions. During the weight-restriction periods, JBS is required to either haul weight-reduced loads or seek alternative, less efficient routes. To remedy this situation, the Kalamazoo County Road Commission will rebuild 12th Street to all-season standards and make driveway and turn lane improvements. The Allegan County Road Commission will resurface 11th Street and construct a right-turn lane, at a new north entrance in Gun Plain Township. This will extend the pavement life and prevent traffic delays. The total cost of these improvements is $1,407,500, including $290,000 in state TEDF Category A funds $1,085,000 from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and $32,500 from the Allegan County Road Commission.
CLYDEUNION, Inc., a worldwide engineer and manufacturer of industrial reciprocating pumps that support the oil, gas, nuclear, solar and water power energy industries, is expanding its Battle Creek facility located within the Fort Custer Industrial Park. The company also considered one of its facilities in Shreveport, La., but chose to expand in Battle Creek due to its proximity to Chicago and Boston. CLYDEUNION will construct a 42,000-square-foot addition to its current facility and add new equipment, investing $17,100,000 and creating 190 jobs. To accommodate increased commercial and employee traffic that the expanded facility will create, M-96/Dickman Road will be milled and resurfaced. The project also will include Americans with Disabilities-compliant (ADA) sidewalk ramp upgrades. The total cost of these improvements is $440,000, including $197,000 in state TEDF Category A funds, $239,800 in matching funds from the MDOT Southwest Region, and $3,200 from the city of Battle Creek.
Source: News release from Michigan Department of Transportation