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Martin: Optimistic About Portobello’s Progress

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Baxter mayor John Martin said he’s not concerned about the progress of the Portobello plant based on conversations this week.

Martin spoke with Portobello’s vice president and said the company remains high on the plant.

“The big plant that they have in Brazil is in a town about the size of Cookeville,” Martin said. “He said that the plant is running, there is COVID in Brazil, but he said their business is still good. It’s good in the United States, and they’re just anxious to get started on the plant.”

Martin said company officials will gather with environmental officials the middle of this month to discuss when construction crews will break ground. In addition, T-DOT officials will return to Baxter to look at traffic counts on the Baxter exit.

Traffic often backs up along the Baxter ramp. Martin said T-DOT measured the traffic numbers during the COVID-19 outbreak and saw no issues.

“We just gotta be patient,” Martin said. “We’ve been working with TDOT for the SIE and the exit road that they’re doing. They’ve been out there probably three weeks doing surveying.”

The original construction date was this month, but COVID-19 has slowed progress.


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