LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a state transportation economic development grant that will support 254 new jobs in Calhoun County.
The Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant totaling $1,364,991 will leverage $78.4 million in private investment, at a private/public investment ratio of 57-to-1.
Plymouth-based Brembo North America, Inc. is the world’s leading brand in the design and manufacturing of braking systems for high-performance automobiles, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Brembo will construct a new foundry just north of its existing Homer manufacturing facility, located on M-60 west of 30 Mile Road (Van Wert Road) in Albion Township, Calhoun County. The company will invest $78.4 million for a new building and equipment, resulting in the creation of 254 jobs.
The company had considered sites in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee before selecting Homer. At the Homer facility, Brembo can make materials on site rather than procure materials for the manufacturing facility from other suppliers. Brembo says that another reason for selecting the Homer location was easy access to I-94 and I-69 via M-60.
The entrance to the new foundry will be on 30 Mile Road, a half-mile north of M-60. Increased commercial and employee traffic turning north from M-60 onto 30 Mile Road could cause delays and conflicts with through-traffic on M-60.
To address this, MDOT will construct a center left-turn lane on M-60 for northbound turns onto 30 Mile Road, as well as a dedicated right-turn lane on westbound M-60 to access northbound 30 Mile Road. M-60 will be repaved within the project limits, including new shoulders and drainage improvements. These improvements will help make turning safer for motorists and reduce conflicts with through-traffic on M-60.
30 Mile Road is currently not an all-season route between M-60 and the new foundry driveway, which would limit the company’s ability to ship efficiently. In addition, the current roadway elevation could create sight distance issues at the location of the new foundry driveway.
To address this, the Calhoun County Road Department will reconstruct 30 Mile Road to all-season standards and make roadway elevation changes between M-60 and 400 feet north of the new foundry driveway. These improvements will ensure year-round access to the foundry and improve safety through improved sight distance at the foundry driveway.
Total estimated cost for this project is $1,824,550, including $1,364,991 in TEDF funds, $185,139 from the Calhoun County Road Department, and $274,420 from the MDOT Southwest Region.
Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, the TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers.
TEDF “Category A” or “Targeted Industries Program” grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation.
Category A grants made during fiscal year 2014 are anticipated to support the creation or retention of 2,400 jobs and leverage approximately $538 million in private investment. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at www.michigan.gov/tedf.