The Iowa Transportation Commission approved funding today to help improve the roadway into the new Prestage pork plant under construction in Wright County near Eagle Grove.
The director of the office of systems planning at the DOT, Craig Markleym says commissioners approve what are called RISE funds for the project. He says the application is for the construction of turn lanes and paving of 13,374 feet of Wright County Road C-56 as well as turn lanes on Iowa 17, and turn lanes at the intersection of Iowa 17 and Wright County Road C-56.
The funding it tied to the new jobs the plant will create. “This particular project is for the creation of 196 new full-time jobs. Now in reality, that pork processing plant, they are going to have way more than that number of jobs,” Markley says. The plant will have around 925 jobs in its first shift. He says creating a certain number of jobs is part of the requirement for these type of funds.
Markley says if there are enough jobs created, they can get up to 80 percent of the project cost in state funds. In this case that amounts to $2,344,478. The money is also contingent on the company spending nearly $264 million s on the pork slaughter and fabrication plant that will produce fresh and frozen products. Markley says there are other road improvements planned for Highway 17 that are part of the normal highway fund budget.
Markley says they are plans for a full reconstruction of the road north of the plant from Eagle Grove to Highway 3 to account for the increased traffic caused by the plant.
Ground-breaking for the new plant is set for next spring, with targeted completion in the fall of 2018