Michigan Governor Announces Road Projects

Staff | September 28, 2010

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm recently announced that 1,285 jobs, including 710 associated with alternative energy companies, will be created through an investment of more than $4 million in state Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) grants in six Michigan counties. The transportation investments will leverage more than $1.25 billion in private investment at a private/public ratio of 303-to-1.

"These projects are a key part of our comprehensive economic plan to create jobs and grow the state's economy," Granholm said. "We want to make sure that Michigan is a hub for future growth and job creation, particularly in the area of alternative energy, which is growing dramatically."

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. The projects will break ground this year in Bay, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Saginaw, and Wayne counties.

Governor Granholm announced that 34 road projects across Michigan will be accelerated from the 2009 construction season to 2008, creating 2,100 new jobs in Michigan. The announcement is one piece of the governor's economic stimulus package that she unveiled in her recent State of the State address. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is accelerating almost $150 million in road and bridge projects, creating jobs in planning, engineering and construction.

These road improvements will help accommodate increased traffic and provide commercial routes that are safe and more efficient for new and expanding companies. Private developers, cities, villages, counties, and MDOT provide more than $2 million in local matching funds (34 percent) for these projects.

Approved Category A Projects By County Bay County

Carbone of America-Ultra Carbon Division, an international leader and manufacturer of high-purity graphite, serves the electronics and solar industries. Within the past five years, the company has invested more than $5 million in building improvements, and new machinery and equipment at its Bay City facility. Most recently, the company completed the second phase of a planned three-phase project, and invested $2.5 million in a 10,000-square-foot expansion. Phase three will involve an additional investment of $3 million. The company currently employs 250 workers at its Greenville and Midland operations. After expanding its Bay City facility, the company will hire 10 new employees by 2009.

The project will reconstruct Harrison Street between 32nd and 38th streets. Harrison is an all-season road that is currently in very poor condition. The project will improve ride quality and enable the company to transport sensitive materials without damage.

The proposed cost of these transportation improvements is approximately $1.2 million, including $238,488 in state TEDF funds, with a local match of $944,741 from the city of Bay City.

Eaton County

Dowding Industries, Inc. is a precision manufacturer of progressive die stamping, metal fabrications, and welded assemblies. It is in the process of expanding its operations into machining transmission housings, components and platforms used in the assembly of wind turbines. The company is investing $7.15 million in the new facility and creating 200 new jobs.

Precision Prototype & Manufacturing, Inc. primarily produces high-quality metal and composite parts for the furniture industry, clamps for tube benders, and parts for the U.S. military, as well as many other small companies. The existing facility occupies a large parcel on the south side of Marilin Street and includes two adjacent buildings. The company is expanding by the construction of an addition which will connect the two existing buildings. The company is investing approximately $5.2 million in the new facility and creating 20 new jobs.

Marilin Street is a two lane road which provides access to Dowding Industries, Inc., Precision Prototype & Manufacturing, Inc., and other commercial users. At times, commercial vehicles may cause traffic to back up at the intersection of Marilin Street and Main Street (M-99/M-50). As a result, some of the traffic appears to be cutting through the residential neighborhood north of Marilin Street. The expansions could increase the likelihood of this occurring. In order to address this concern, the project will include adding a dedicated right-turn lane on westbound Marilin. This will allow for a better traffic flow, reducing the wait time for traffic turning from Marilin Street onto Main St. (M-99/M-50).

The intersection of Kinneyville/Spicerville roads with Main Street (M-99/M-55) does not have a dedicated left-hand turn lane. The city is constructing a new roadway from the east end of Marilin Street to Kinneyville Road. A portion of the traffic generated by the expansion of these two companies will need to use the intersection of Kinneyville/Spicerville roads at Main Street. Adding left-turn lanes on the east and west legs of the intersection will allow through and right-turn traffic to proceed without waiting for vehicles turning left at the signal.

The proposed cost of these transportation improvements is $404,250, including $315,000 in state TEDF funds, with a local match of $70,250 from the city of Eaton Rapids, and $19,000 from the Eaton County Road Commission.

Hillsdale County

SKD L.P. is a Tier I automotive supplier to Chrysler, Ford, Honda, General Motors, and Mercedes, as well as a Tier II supplier for these companies and Toyota. SKD's facility in Jonesville is located on Gaige and Reading streets, just east of M-99. Gaige Street has deteriorated to the extent that it is unlikely to accommodate truck traffic in the future. In addition, the drainage on Gaige is in such poor condition that the street drains into the storm sewer located in the SKD parking lot. Finally, the grade of the road at the intersection of Gaige Street and M-99 creates a restricted view of oncoming traffic. SKD chose to expand in Jonesville instead of Alabama, in part, due to a commitment by the village to improve the roads. The $8.2-million expansion will result in 75 new jobs by the end of 2008.

This project includes improvements that will improve ride quality and safety and increase overall capacity. Gaige and Reading streets will both be reconstructed to all-season standards with new curbs and gutters, storm sewers and grade improvements. The project also will add a northbound right-turn lane to M-99, widen the Gaige Street approach, and remove the skewed intersection of M-99 at Reading Street. Vehicles will be able to safely turn right onto Gaige Street from northbound M-99, and trucks turning onto and off M-99 will be able to remain in their dedicated lane. Traffic currently using the M-99/Reading intersection will use the improved M-99/Gaige intersection.

The proposed cost of these transportation improvements is $956,179, including $620,484 in state TEDF funds, $235,695 from the village of Jonesville, and $100,000 from MDOT's University Region for a total local match of $335,695.

Ingham County

Peckham Vocational Industries, Inc. is a private, nonprofit agency that provides job opportunities to individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Peckham's largest line of business is apparel manufacturing, providing cold weather clothing systems to the military and other customers. Other lines of business include automotive parts assembly, warehouse and distribution, custodial services, and call centers. The company wished to expand its manufacturing operation in Lansing, which would create an additional 230 jobs. Peckham currently has 800 employees and did not have the ability to expand further at its existing site. In making its location decision, Peckham needed at least 20 acres in a city with a development site located on a major public transportation route and an existing warehouse. Capital City Boulevard was the only site in Lansing that met the criteria. Peckham's investment will total $23 million.

Rather than having large volumes of non-truck traffic access the site from Grand River Avenue, Peckham will create entrances along Capital City Boulevard. This new access will require new median cuts and turn lanes on Capital City Boulevard to mitigate the impact to northbound through traffic headed to the airport. The project will include a new pull-off lane for Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) buses, allowing the northbound through-traffic an unobstructed flow and safer conditions for passengers exiting the bus. In anticipation of additional traffic, Capital City Boulevard between Grand River and the CSX Transportation railroad tracks will be resurfaced in order to preserve and extend the pavement life.

The proposed cost of these transportation improvements is $350,000, including $280,000 in state TEDF funds, with $45,000 from Peckham Vocational Industries, Inc., $20,000 from Capital City Airport, and $5,000 from the city of Lansing for a total local match of $70,000.

Saginaw County

Hemlock Semiconductor, the world's leading producer of polycrystalline silicon, will invest $1 billion during the next three and one-half years to expand its Hemlock facility. The company produces high purity polysilicon, which is the base raw material for the electronics industry and the solar power industry. In solar power applications, polycrystalline silicon is used to produce solar cells, which capture sunlight in order to produce clean, renewable energy. The company currently employs 1,200 people, and will create an additional 500 jobs with this expansion.

Due to an anticipated increase in traffic, it was determined that several improvements will be necessary to ensure safe and efficient all-season access to the facility. These improvements include reconstructing Geddes Road between Graham and Miller roads, upgrading Orr Road between Gratiot Road (M-46) and Geddes Road; adding center left-and right-turn lanes on Geddes Road in front of the facility; resurfacing and adding left-turn lanes in each quadrant of the intersection of Geddes Road and Graham Road; resurfacing and adding left-turn lanes in each quadrant of the intersection of Geddes and Orr roads; adding a left-turn lane on southbound Orr Road and adding a right-turn lane on Gratiot (M-46) at the intersection of Gratiot and Orr roads.

The proposed cost of these transportation improvements is approximately $2.8 million, including $2,247,000 in state TEDF funds, and $555,144 in local matching funds from Hemlock Semiconductor.

Wayne County

Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC), a subsidiary of Chrysler, designs, manufacturers, sells, and services medium- and heavy-duty diesel engines for commercial vehicles. Detroit Diesel has invested $179 million in a facility located on the border of Detroit and Redford Township, resulting in an increase of 150 new jobs. Detroit Diesel occupies a majority of the facility, and leases portions to Axle Alliance Company and MTU Detroit Diesel Inc. Axle Alliance Company, LLC, a wholly owned affiliate of Chrysler, designs and manufactures front, single rear and tandem rear axles for the commercial vehicle market. The company has invested $10.5 million in an expansion, resulting in 30 new jobs. MTU Detroit Diesel, Inc. manufactures diesel engines for a diverse off-highway market, including marine, construction/industrial, power generation, rail, etc. MTU Detroit Diesel has invested $17 million to expand, creating 70 new jobs.

To create a more dynamic, campus-like facility, Detroit Diesel needs to relocate a driveway 220 feet north of its current location. However, this will create a conflict with left-hand turn movements from both northbound and southbound traffic on Outer Drive and limit access to the site during peak traffic hours. To facilitate the traffic flow, the project includes adding auxiliary lanes on Outer Drive and Lamphere and traffic signal upgrades at the intersection of Outer Drive and Detroit Diesel's main entrance. The pavement also will be re-striped. These improvements will allow for dedicated left-hand turn movements at Outer Drive/Lamphere and Detroit Diesel's main entrance, improving traffic flow at both locations.

The proposed cost of these transportation improvements is $555,500, including $440,000 in state TEDF funds, with $49,500 from Detroit Diesel and $66,000 from Wayne County, for a total of $115,500 in local matching funds.