Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Aug. 14 newspaper on Page A5.
JACKSON — The clean-up process is well underway at the former Meridian Automotive Plant in Jackson.
A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the remediation and redevelopment of the property took place in June.
Project contractor, Thompson Petroleum, has been working diligently cleaning up the property. They started the clean-up process on or around July 22.
The scope of work for the project involves excavation and removal of contaminated soils; demolition; and removal of machinery pits, foundations, footers and bulk debris remaining on the site. The site has been subdivided into three distinct areas.
Samuel Brady, the executive director of the Jackson County Economic Development Partnership, gave the public an update about the clean-up via Facebook Live on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
“We’re just a few short months away, weather permitting, from a clean piece of property here in Jackson that we can market for future industrial development,” Brady said.
Brady was joined at the site by Tetra Tech Program Manager Matthew G. Wagner. Tetra Tech is the company that conducted the property assessment and are overseeing the clean-up process.
“As a quick update, we have fully remediated the south and north ditches,” stated Wagner. “We have also removed all of the foundations as relates to the northern side of the property as well.”
Wagner added, “We are moving closer to State Route 93 as we remove the remaining foundation. All of the ditches in that area has been removed. To date, we have removed 17 ditches and still have nine ditches to go on the south side of the property, but it’s moving quickly.”
The primary concern based on the analytical results, according to Wagner, is petroleum hydrocarbon contamination.
“The soil is being tested to determine whether or not it’s contaminated,” stated Wagner. “The contaminated soil will be removed from the site and the soil that is not contaminated can be used as fill. The property is being cleaned to industrial commercial standards.”
Last year, Brady had reported that the JCEDP had received $1.8 million in funding to purchase the site (22.3 acres) and redevelop it. The project will also include two roadway investments.
Funding was provided by JobsOhio, Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth and the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio.
Earlier this year, JCEDP had closed on the real estate transaction, and thing started to progress forward.
Meridian, according to Brady, was located in Jackson from 2000 to 2007. Much of the plant was torn down in 2015 and officials have since sought to clean up the site to make it usable again. Previous occupants included Goodyear (1966-1997) and Cambridge Industries (1997-2000).