A new soybean processing plant is heading to Mid-Michigan bringing dozens of jobs, and a grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is helping make sure traffic flow around the new location will be smooth.
Zeeland Farm Services, Inc is Michigan’s only soy processor and vegetable oil refiner.
The company’s affiliate, ZFS Ithaca, LLC has picked a 435-acre site on Washington Road in Gratiot County as a future location for the company’s second soybean processing plant in a move that will create 72 new jobs by 2018.
The site was selected over three competing states and the company plans to invest $135 million into the new facility.
Because Washington Road, which will serve as the primary access point to the new facility, is a two-lane road, it will need to be expanded to four lanes in the area to help an estimated 800 daily freight trips during the harvest season.
Along with drainage improvements, shoulder widening and other upgrades that will be necessary, the project is estimated to cost $875,000.
MDOT is chipping in with a $652,000 grant, with $223,000 of the project coming from ZFS Ithaca, LLC and the Gratiot County Road Commission.
"The expansion of Washington Road is an integral part of important infrastructure to support our new facility in Ithaca as it will help relieve any possible congestion that could result from increased traffic," said Eric Meeuwsen, general manager at ZFS Ithaca, LLC. "Efficient traffic flow is essential for the Ithaca community, as well as our project, which will have a profound positive economic impact on the agricultural supply chain, providing benefits to the Michigan agricultural sector, as well as the whole state of Michigan - further securing our state's agricultural economy."
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