Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Caterpillar could break ground on its new Georgia plant within the next two weeks as more details emerge about the project's timeline.
Land planner Jon Williams tells The Athens Banner-Herald that he submitted plans for the $200 million facility Friday afternoon, just hours after the Peoria, Ill.-based firm announced they would build it near Athens.
Williams says the Athens-Clarke and Oconee County governments are expected to approve the plans by March 5, and Caterpillar could start clearing the land as soon as the following day.
Caterpillar has said that initial production at the plant is expected to begin in late 2013. Officials say they plan to ramp up to full production over a five-year period.
Company officials say the plant will directly employ 1,400 workers once it's fully operational.
(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)