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WisDOT grant backs road work near automated Kroger warehouse

A customer exits a Kroger fueling center in Flowood, Miss., Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Many of the Kroger grocery stores have offer fueling centers and pharmacies to their customers. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

A customer exits a Kroger fueling center in Flowood, Mississippi, recently. A WisDOT TEA grant will provide nearly $1 million to help rebuild a county highway near a Kroger warehouse now under construction in Pleasant Prairie. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

State officials are providing a nearly $1 million grant to help rebuild a county highway to accommodate the increased traffic expected to result following the completion of a $112 million Kroger warehouse now under construction in Pleasant Prairie.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Monday that a $951,315 Transportation Economic Assistance grant, or TEA grant, will help pay for nearly $2 million in work to Kenosha County Highway H in Kenosha County. Crews broke ground last summer on a $112.4 million automated warehouse for Kroger, an operation that will be used for home deliveries in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

The 350,000-square-foot warehouse will make use of robotic equipment to aid in deliveries. Cincinnati-based Kroger working with its affiliate, U.K.-based Ocado, to build out a network of warehouses that will be used to keep up with increased demand in online ordering. The warehouse is expected to employ about 700 workers.

“Congratulations to Kroger on an exciting new project that brings hundreds of new jobs to Southeast Wisconsin and demonstrates exactly what the TEA grants program is about,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said in a statement. “We welcome opportunities to work with businesses across the state to build the infrastructure necessary for growth.”

The grant will help pay for dedicated turn lanes and other improvements on a stretch of County Highway H from 93rd Place to Bain Station Road in Pleasant Prairie. Construction on the new warehouse is expected to wrap up in the first quarter of 2022.

So far in 2020, WisDOT has awarded $5.2 million in TEA grants to 11 projects. Those jobs promise to create more than 1,000 new jobs and retain another 686 jobs in Wisconsin.

“The selection of Kenosha County for this TEA Grant award is a tremendous example of how collaboration can lead to developing new and efficient roadway solutions for our community,” said Nathan Thiel, Village of Pleasant Prairie Administrator. “The Village is very pleased to be a part of the vision behind these County infrastructure improvements. The road enhancements will ensure traffic surrounding the new Kroger facility continues to flow smoothly.”

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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