No. 2: Bypass funding approved
In late June 2012, the Texas Department of Transportation approved $41 million for a bypass around Corsicana on Texas Highway 31, an accomplishment that has taken at least 20 years to realize by local and state officials.
The next obstacle, getting the land needed for the route, also called the right-of-way, is next on the agenda, according to highway officials. The City of Corsicana and Navarro County will need to put up a $3.7 million match, or the right-of-way to make the bypass a reality.
Public meetings to unveil the route, and talk to landowners are expected to take place in the spring, a slight delay from what had been anticipated. The drawings are similar to those discussed in the 2000s and in the 1990s to address the seemingly perpetual issue of congestion in Corsicana.
The need to relieve congestion has grown more keen as the state has been rebuilding Seventh Avenue through western Corsicana, causing a variety of headaches for local businesses and drivers, alike.
Some landowners have expressed a willingness to donate land, which will save the city and county some cash in right-of-way purchases. Other matching funds can be covered by plugging the various oil and gas wells along the route.
The relief route or bypass is anticipated to go from just east of Pactiv, around County Road 70, and rejoin Highway 31 west of the city near County Road 1000, immediately in front of the TxDOT offices.
— Janet Jacobs
No. 3: Pactiv expanding lines, adding jobs
In a year plagued with sad employment news, closings and downsizings elsewhere, 2012 also had a big bright spot locally with the announcement that Pactiv was going to expand with an entirely new line of products at the Corsicana plant.
The company is building a 150,000-square-foot addition to the plant on Highway 31 that will also bring 200 new jobs to the city’s workforce over a three-year period. The Texas Enterprise Fund is giving $930,000 to the company to help with the expansion, and the Texas Capital fund is putting up a $1.25 million grant. The City of Corsicana, Navarro County and Navarro College are all giving the company a tax break equal to five years’ worth of appraisals on the new portion of the plant. The company is investing about $50 million in the Corsicana project.
The company will be making expanded polystyrene cups and containers in the new section. The company already has a plant near Chicago, Ill., that makes the coffee cups. Corsicana’s will be the second plant, according to Kevin Quinn, vice president of operations and engineering for Pactiv.
The company makes disposable plates, cups, bowls and packaging for fast food companies, for grocery stores, and the food service industry. Ninety percent of the company’s goods are made in the U.S., Quinn said.
— Janet Jacobs