Magna Seating Detroit plans to invest nearly $6 million in its Highland Park facility and add 148 new jobs, thanks in part to a public-private investment to rebuild the Davison Freeway service drives near its facility.

The Michigan Department of Transportation awarded a $777,749 Transportation Economic Development Fund Category A grant to the city of Highland Park to help rebuild the service drives, according to a news release. The city will contribute $233,100 in matching funds for the project, which will cost $1,010,849 total, the released stated.

MDOT said Highland Park will reconstruct both directions of the Davison service drives of from Oakland Avenue east to the Detroit Connecting Railroad’s bridge.

Magna was considering locating its expansion in Ontario or Tennessee because of the poor condition of the roads, northbound and southbound M-8 near Oakland Park Boulevard. They were so deteriorated the company’s trucks and products were getting damaged as a result, according to a release.

“This program provides a way to target specific infrastructure challenges that would otherwise directly and negatively affect economic growth,” said Frank W. Ervin III, senior director of government affairs for Magna International. “The improvement of the Davison service drives will allow us to more easily support our customers from our Highland Park facility and make a positive economic impact in the community.”

Highland Park officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Work on the project is expected to begin at the beginning of next year and should take about two months, according to Michael Leon, TEDF program manager for MDOT’s Office of Economic Development.

Magna Seating Detroit is a division of Magna International, a Canadian global automotive supplier that has 306 manufacturing operations and 92 product development, engineering and sales centers in 29 countries.

TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that encourage private investment in Michigan resulting in job creation or retention.

Two additional TEDF grants were also awarded Tuesday:

  • In Jackson County, a $269,471 grant was given to widen and reconstruct roads nearLomar Machine and Tool Co., which designs and manufactures machines for aerospace, automotive, agriculture, medical and military markets. The county will pay $69,823 and Lomar will contribute $20,000. Lomar is investing $2.5 million to expand its facility, creating 18 jobs and retaining 24, according to a release. The company considered moving to Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and Mexico.
  • In Iosco County, a $1,090,991 grant was given to replace Whittemore Road bridge nearNational Gypsum. The company has a quarry and wallboard plant in Grant and Sherman townships, with 57 employees. The bridge has been deteriorating over the years and as a result, its weight limit has been downgraded from 60 to 28 tons. The company indicated the facilities would likely close if no improvements were made to the bridge. Iosco County Road Commission will provide $275,309 in matching funds, according to Leon.
 Originally posted: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20160614/NEWS/160619897/magna-seating-to-add-148-jobs-invest-nearly-6-million-at-highland
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