Transportation Grants Help Create 880 Jobs In Metro Detroit

The TEDF grants, totaling more than $2.7 million, will help several companies expand in the region, resulting in private investments of nearly $279 million.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded state Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grants totaling more than $2.7 million to the City of Detroit and the Road Commission for Oakland County. The grants will result in a total of 882 new jobs and help leverage almost $279 million in total private investment.

Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc

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. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages.

City of Detroit

In the City of Detroit, the condition of Mt. Elliott from Georgia Street to Conant Street is substandard. To address this, the city will reconstruct Mt. Elliott from Georgia Street to I-94, and add turn lanes at Georgia Street and Miller Street to allow for improved truck access. These road infrastructure projects were significant factors in two companies’ recent decisions to locate at the I-94 industrial park. The total cost of the road project is $6.4 million, including $2.4 million in TEDF Category A funds and nearly $4 million from the City of Detroit.

Arcelor Mittal Tailored Blanks American Corp. is investing $83.5 million to renovate its existing building on Mt. Elliott in the city of Detroit, creating 120 new jobs. Once operational, the company will produce tailored laser-welded blanks to be shipped to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and tier 1 stamping plants for use in vehicle bodies. This facility will be the company’s first in Michigan and will serve as its North American headquarters. The company chose to expand at this location over an existing location in Ohio due to the building’s proximity to its customer base.

“ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas would like to thank the City of Detroit and MDOT for working together on the reconstruction of Mt. Elliott from Georgia Street to I-94,” said Ben Orler, ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas Corp. chief operations officer. “This project will greatly enhance our daily business needs and future requirement to grow the business. We also believe that this will be an asset to the surrounding area. We appreciate the support shown both by the city and state for our investment in the city, and are very pleased to be able to locate our facility at this location, which is of close proximity to our customers.”

Flex-N-Gate is a top global supplier of exterior trim components, aluminum and steel modular stamped body chassis assemblies, lighting, and other automotive OEM products. The company needed to expand, and considered locating its new facility in Ontario, Indiana or Ohio. The company chose to construct its new manufacturing facility on Georgia Street in the city of Detroit due to its proximity to its primary customers. Flex-N-Gate is investing $160 million to construct its new facility, which will result in 400 new jobs.

“For a manufacturing facility like ours, truck traffic and employee traffic over a sturdy infrastructure of roads is of utmost importance,” said Bill Beistline, Flex-N-Gate vice president. “It is critical that the roads are wide enough and in good enough condition to handle the flow of the increased traffic. The Mt. Elliott Street project is a critical element to the success of not only the Flex-n-Gate project, but will also serve as a sign to other companies that Detroit and the state of Michigan will get behind projects of this magnitude and insure that all aspects of improvement are thought of and in place.”

Oakland County

Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, LLC develops and produces automotive exterior lighting products for all major automotive manufacturers. The company needed to expand and considered locating the expansion in existing facilities in Mexico or Tennessee. Due to its proximity to the company’s main customer, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, Magneti Marelli chose to convert an Independence Township facility to manufacture automotive exterior lighting and to transfer the existing automotive exhaust systems manufacturing to a facility in Auburn Hills.

To improve the reliability of access to the Independence Township facility, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) will make a number of improvements to Sashabaw Road. The total cost of this project is $452,949, including $336,281 in TEDF Category A funds and $116,668 from the Road Commission for Oakland County and Independence Township. Magneti Marelli plans to invest $35 million in the Independence Township site, resulting in 362 new jobs.

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