Coke Distribution, TTI/Ryobi projects nearing completion

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By Stan Welch

Two major economic development projects are coming to fruition in The Journal’s readership area in the coming weeks. The Coca Cola Bottling Company will cut the ribbon to open its new distribution center located at exit 35, at the intersection of I-85 and Highway 86 on June 23. Near Exit 27, the construction of the new TTI/Ryobi facility is drawing to a close.

TTI, which employs more than twenty thousand people worldwide, and does more than five billion dollars in annual sales, was founded in 1985, and located in Anderson back in 2000. The decision by the multinational corporation to retain and expand its distribution and research and development facility in the Anderson area insured that the fourteen hundred fourteen existing jobs would remain in Anderson, in addition to at least two hundred more when the facility is finished.

The planned facility is intended as a showcase facility, which will include one point four million square feet. The company’s research and development wing will also be located at the new facility, which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

A major aspect of the project was the reconfiguring of two roads adjacent to the site. Martin Road was widened to three lanes and relocated to intersect with the new Ryobi Drive, which begins at Highway 81 with three lanes and extends 3840 feet to the TTI site. Orange Way begins at Martin Road and proceeds as a four lane divided road to the TTI property, a distance of 2600 feet. Orange Way will be a lighted boulevard with landscaped medians.

The two projects were awarded to S&S Construction of Anderson in December. The winning bid was just under $5.2 million. State and federal funding was obtained. The detours that were imposed during construction are no longer in place, and the final surfacing of the new roads is underway.