State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) joined representatives from Pepsi MidAmerica on September 17 to provide an update on ongoing expansion plans at the company’s Marion facility and project developments within the area to ease traffic flow.
“Economic development and job creation are two critical aspects of ensuring the communities of Southern Illinois thrive,” said Senator Fowler. “Today, we’re coming together to highlight ongoing progress to build a new roadway in Marion and underscore the economic growth taking place in the community.”
With the support from local, state and federal entities, the City of Marion has begun the construction of a new roadway. The new Halfway Road development will allow an alternative route to the Southwest part of the city which improves interstate access, alleviates heavy traffic flow and supports expanded distribution at Pepsi MidAmerica.
“This expansion will allow us to refine our shipping and receiving processes to better service our customers in a more efficient manner while maintaining safer access to and from our roadways. This project will provide the community an efficient means of traveling from highway #13 to Westminster Road,” said Vice President of Operations, Daniel Nalley.
Senator Fowler spearheaded efforts in obtaining approximately $3.5 million needed to fund the project, including costs for construction, design engineering, inspection, testing and land acquisition. Funding was secured through a Community Development Block Grant authorized by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, a Delta Regional Authority Grant and the City of Marion.
“Pepsi MidAmerica is one of Southern Illinois’ major manufacturers and through this concerted effort we were able to help expand their operations and bring economic development to the area. Pepsi MidAmerica, the City of Marion and the Unit II School District were unwavering advocates for this project and deserve to be recognized for their work,” said Senator Fowler. “I’m proud to have been able to lend my voice to making the plans for this Halfway Road project became a reality.”
Pepsi MidAmerica is one of the largest independently owned Pepsi-Cola operations in the country and has been in business since 1936. Pepsi MidAmerica serves a five-state area, producing products for portions of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“Each day, over 100 large tractor and trailer units arrive and exit Pepsi MidAmerica’s facility,” said Senator Fowler. “By obtaining these funds and building this roadway, we are creating new opportunities for growth and development. The company will be creating 50 new jobs to support its expanded shipping and receiving operations.”