As a crowd looked over the edge of a trench, a backhoe pushed a water pipe under Ky. 222 into the Glendale Industrial Site.
The Thursday afternoon ceremony marked the arrival of a key piece of infrastructure for the 1,551-acre tract, which officials hope one day will be home to a large facility with thousands of workers.
Hardin County Water District No. 2 began construction of the more than five miles of pipes in March 2009.
“We hope this is a great step forward in the readiness of our Glendale Industrial Site,” General Manager James Jeffries said. Having water service ready to go will be a selling point for the site’s promoters.
The land was seriously considered for at least two major projects. Hyundai thought about building an auto plant there in 2002, and the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries in 2009 proposed a facility there but didn’t receive federal stimulus money for the project.
There are no active clients looking at the site, said Rick Games, president of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation. Those kind of projects are few and far between in a sluggish economy.
The Glendale site is one of a few in the country of its size. Those industrial properties are in various states of preparedness, Games said.
He said the water line is a huge step.
“To get a piece of it done this quick is pretty significant,” he said.
It would be an advantage for a business that might locate there — especially for one with a short timeline.
However, infrastructure projects can be sped up if a company decides to locate there.
The 16-inch spur will have a distribution capacity of 4.5 million gallons of water per day, according to the district.
The state General Assembly in 2006 funded the project with two grants totaling $1.75 million. The water district provided labor and equipment.
Also in the works for the site and surrounding area is reconstruction of the Interstate 65 interchange with Ky. 222. And grants to prepare the area for the Fort Knox realignment will go toward a wastewater system.