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Groundbreaking to start on Point project

SOUTH POINT — It’s another giant step forward in the transformation of a onetime abandoned plant site into a thriving industrial site.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday will be the official groundbreaking for the multi-million dollar intermodal transfer project at The Point industrial park. The facility will allow the movement of product by water, rail and truck in and out of Lawrence County, enabling manufacturers from inside and outside the county to transport their products through The Point.

Joining the ceremony, which is open to the public, will be Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio.

It’s an extensive project that has been years in the planning and is expected to be a catalyst for the development of manufacturing in the area, according to Dr. Bill Dingus, director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp.

The phase to start next week will be a $2.4 million project that will focus on moving containers or large products like steel from truck to rail or rail to truck.

“If everything works out right, we plan to have it in operation by October,” Dingus said. “It is a very aggressive program.”

The main contractor is J&H Erectors from Portsmouth. Funding comes from $3.6 million in federal stimulus money.

Also at The Point sheet metal is going up on two spec buildings — one built by the LEDC and the second by J&H Erectors.

The J&H structure is a 50,000-square-foot building that the firm will lease out or sell. The other is a 60,000 square foot structure that the LEDC will soon have on the market.

“We are taking a risk, but we feel there are enough companies looking to come to the Tri-State that it will be filled,” Dingus said. “You have to have faith that the economy will turn around and good things will happen. When people are ready to go, they want a building under roof.”