CAPAC — Calling it one of the few 'bright spots' in the local economy, St. Clair County Road Commissioner Bill Blumerich and representatives from the village, Keihin Michigan Manufact-uring, county, state and local businesses officially opened the newly paved and improved Koehn Rd.
Tuesday's ribbon cutting ceremony marked an eight month project that saw almost 1/4 mile of the dirt road turned into a three-lane, all-season accessway. The road fronts the Keihin plant and will service its main entrances.
In the foreground of Keihin Michigan Manufacturing plant, St. Clair County Road Commission Chairman Bill Blumerich and Capac President Mark Klug make it official at Koehn Rd. ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday morning. photo by Maria Brown.
"Everyone pulled together to get this done," Blumerich said before cutting the ribbon with village President Mark Lug.
The improvements were funded with grant monies from the Michigan Depart-ment of Transportation's Economic Development Fund, the Michigan Econ-omic Development Corpor-ation and contributions by the village and St. Clair County Board of Commissioners.
Road Commission Director Kirk Weston said the final cost is expected to be about $742,000.
The prime contractor was Tyger Excavating from Shelby Township. Plans were prepared by the Spicer Group and project management administration was handled by the county's road commission.
Doug Alexander, executive director of the Economic Development Alliance of St.Clair County, said accessibility at the site was a concern when Keihin officials toured the property at Koehn and Capac roads almost a year ago.
"We realized there was not enough frontage on Capac Rd.," Alexander said.
"But everyone came together."
Talks with the state, county and local officials ensued and a deal was struck to initiate the infrastructure project. In addition to the road work, water and sanitary sewer lines were extended to the site and storm drainage was connected to the county drain.
As part of the agreement, Keihin has promised to make more than 40 jobs available to low and moderate income persons.
"This infrastructure is what made it all possible," Dave Thomas of Keihin said.
"Now we're looking forward to seeing employees parked in the parking lot and steam rising out the plant," Capac Manager Dennis Collison said.