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Gov. Whitmer Announces Transportation Economic Development Grants

Ford Research and Engineering Center Work Phases
Ford Research and Engineering Center Work Phases
LANSING, MI — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding state transportation economic development grants in Wayne County, Detroit and Calhoun County.

Wayne County Grant – Ford Research and Engineering Center
This grant will support more than 11,000 existing jobs in Wayne County. It will go toward infrastructure improvements related to Ford Motor Co.'s plans to transform its Research and Engineering Center in Dearborn into an open, high-tech campus that could one day house more than 20,000 designers, engineers and product development workers.

The Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant totaling $18,384,084 will leverage significant private investment and $30,693,313 in public road improvements.

Ford's Dearborn master plan envisions a walkable campus of interconnected buildings that would be accessible to the public and sit along Oakwood Boulevard, close to downtown west Dearborn and The Henry Ford Museum. An improved public road network is critical to ensuring vehicle and pedestrian safety and to further manage the traffic increases expected as a result of Ford's new Research and Engineering Center project.

The grant will support Wayne County and Ford Motor Co. in funding 12 projects over six years. Work in the first year will focus on Oakwood Boulevard with upgrades from Village Road to Park Street and at Porter Street. Year two will include work on Oakwood Boulevard from Village Road to west of Rotunda Drive. Year three will focus on Rotunda Drive from Outer Drive to Military Road. Work in year four will be on Rotunda Drive from Pelham Street to west of Oakwood Boulevard and from east of Oakwood to west of the M-39 service drives. The fifth year will focus on the redesign of the Oakwood Boulevard/Rotunda Drive intersection. Finally, in year six, work will focus on Rotunda Drive and the M-39 service drives.

In addition to the grant-related project work, Ford worked in 2018 with Wayne County on road improvements on Rotunda Drive near Carroll Shelby Way East.

"We greatly appreciate MDOT, Wayne County and the City of Dearborn for supporting this important project that will improve local roads and provide new amenities and public spaces that will benefit the community,” said Gabby Bruno, Ford Motor Co. Regional Government Relations Director. "Our campus of the future will bring Ford employees and local residents together like never before, with coffee shops, restaurants and shared pathways that people can use seven days a week and across all seasons."

The total project cost is $30,693,313, including $18,384,084 in TEDF Category A funding and $12,309,229 from Ford Motor Co. and the Wayne County Department of Public Services.

Detroit Grant – FCA Jeep Assembly Plant Accessibility Improvements
This grant will support 419 new jobs in the city of Detroit. The TEDF Category A grant totaling $832,929 will help leverage more than $79,500,000 in private investment, at a private/public investment ratio of more than 95-to-1.

Dakkota Integrated Solutions, LLC manages the complete assembly and sequencing of modules for the automotive industry. The company recently secured a contract from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to supply components for FCA's new Jeep assembly plant on Mack Avenue in Detroit. While the company considered other properties in Michigan and Ohio, Dakkota preferred a closer location. However, there were concerns about accessibility of Dakkota's proposed development site on the site of the former Rose Elementary School and athletic fields of the former Kettering High School.

This TEDF Category A grant will help fund the City of Detroit's plans to:

  • Construct right-turn lanes for the employee and truck driveways off of M-53 (Van Dyke Avenue) between Conger Street to Hendrie Street

  • Modify the left-turn lanes to increase lane storage by restriping the left-turn lanes on the bridge and replacing the current diagonal traffic signal with a box span with individual signals per lane

  • Realign the Townsend Street/Medbury Street intersection to provide adequate turning radii

  • "Dakkota Integrated Systems will announce in partnership with the City of Detroit, Michigan Economic Development Corp., Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and MDOT a new automotive parts manufacturing plant that will provide complete assembly and sequencing for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee," said Ryan Klunzinger, Dakkota Integrated Systems Project Manager. "It is because of the hard work and funding of the various departments that made this opportunity happen. Dakkota appreciates MDOT's help in fixing road conditions to establish our employee entrances, exits and truck routing. Through the various efforts, we can help our employees come to work safely and leave safely."

    The overall cost of this project is $1,100,947, including $832,929 in TEDF Category A funding and $268,018 provided by the City of Detroit.

    Calhoun County Grant – North Clark/29 Mile Road Reconstruction
    This grant will support 35 new jobs in the city of Albion, Calhoun County. The TEDF Category A grant totaling $340,000 will leverage more than $35 million in private investment, at a private/public investment ratio of nearly 103-to-1.

    Knauf Insulation Inc., a manufacturer of insulation products for residential, commercial and industrial users, is located on Clark Street in Albion. At this location, Knauf currently produces 157,000,000 pounds of fiberglass insulation products per year and currently employs 149 people. In order to meet growing demand, the company plans to convert and restart an idled production line. The company decided to expand in Albion instead of competing sites in Indiana and Alabama. Access routes at the current location, however, are in poor condition and are not built to all-season standards. This grant will allow the City of Albion and the Calhoun County Road Department to reconstruct North Clark/29 Mile Road between East North Street and B Drive North.

    In line with the company's focus on sustainability, the process technology associated with this expansion will utilize post-consumer bottle glass recovered through the State of Michigan’s Bottle Deposit Law. Millions of bottles are diverted from landfills to be utilized in the manufacturing of Knauf Insulation products, which go on to save energy for the next 100 years in energy-efficient homes and buildings in Michigan and across the country.

    "Our dedication to the world we live in is genuine and the Albion plant renovation is a true demonstration of that commitment," said Matt Parrish, CEO of Knauf Insulation. "From reducing our own carbon footprint and sourcing renewable, abundant resources for our energy-saving insulation, to encouraging our employees to make a difference in their local communities, our commitment is ever present and something that we are extremely proud of."

    The overall cost of this project is $650,000, including $340,000 in TEDF Category A funding, $244,590 from the City of Albion, and $65,410 from the Calhoun County Road Department.

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