Railroad and State Agencies Make Infrastructure Investments to Secure Business
In 2015, Audia International, a Pennsylvania-based plastics manufacturer serving the automotive, appliance, construction and packaging markets, decided to expand its existing business to the southern U.S. and allocated $50 million for investment in a new manufacturing plant. After solidifying a relationship with G&W’s Pittsburgh & Ohio Central Railroad years before and recognizing its stellar customer service, Audia was hopeful that another G&W railroad could service its new facility.
With the help of Walker County, the State of Georgia and G&W’s industrial development team, Audia agreed to be the first customer in the Walker County Industrial Park, located in LaFayette, Georgia, and served by G&W’s Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway (CCKY). The company secured 28 acres in the 460-acre complex.
To accommodate Audia’s need to store plastic pellets, CCKY built two storage tracks based on industrial development concepts and designs, and it offered Audia a reduced switching contract to haul those pellets into the plant when needed. Walker County cleared 500,000 cubic yards of dirt and built the roads for the industrial park. Meanwhile, the State of Georgia built the lead track into the industrial park and committed to adding a future siding for CCKY.
Site selection commenced in 2014, construction began in March 2015 and the first car moved in January 2016.
As a result of the effective collaboration among CCKY/G&W, Walker County, the State of Georgia and Audia, Walker County Industrial Park is now a viable player in commercial development for Walker County and Georgia as a whole.