The Iowa Transportation Commission approved state funds today for two projects to improve business access roads in Dubuque and Marshall Counties. The commission awarded 1.43 million dollars for a project to improve and straighten a road between the John Deere where they build construction and forestry equipment to the company’s testing grounds north of Dubuque.
Dubuque City Manager, Mike Van Milligen, says the project will help the company continue its expansion in the area. “They’ve moved two new lines to Dubuque — one from Germany, I believe the other was from Canada — they’ve done some other expansions,” Van Milligen.
“This particular project is very important to them, because in Dubuque they make construction equipment — not agricultural equipment…Dubuque is the headquarters for all the design and engineering, so over 600 of those employees at John Deere Dubuque Works are engineers.”
He says the funding will improve what is known as Herber Road. “They need access to their testing grounds so they can test their equipment. And this road provides that access, but because of deteriorating bridges conditions, some disaster issues, over the last several years they’ve had to take a huge detour — I think it’s six or seven miles if I remember correctly — to get their equipment to the testing grounds.”
Local officials will chip in nearly $1.4-million to go along with the state funds. The project is expected to be completed in December of 2014 and allow the company to retain 50 jobs and create 80 new jobs. The other grant of up to $237,616 went to Marshalltown for expansion of a road to open up 32 acres of the industrial park on the southeast side of the city.
Tom Deimerly is the president of the Marshall County Economic Development Impact Committee. “We are excited that as of about six months ago we sold our last shovel-ready site in our industrial park, really necessitating the need to open up these additional acres,” Deimerly says.
“Beyond that…we do have a company called TIG Distributing who is considering a significant capital investment in the area and they are looking at the potential for a 40,000 square foot distribution center in this general area.” He says the site would give TIG the potential to expand to a total of 200,000 square feet on this site.
“They’re an exciting young company who works with and ag manufacturer here in the state doing distribution for them,” Deimerly says.”They’ve recently had the opportunity to add some assembly and manufacturing of some lines that are being phased out and being brought back from Mexico, which is really necessitating the need for them to expand out their current facility. Which if you have seen it — it’s packed to the rafters.”
The state funding is for half of the project and the city will provide the other half in a local match. The project is expected to be completed this August. Both of the grants are part of the state’s Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy or RISE grant program.