IOWA LEGISLATURE

$3 million state grant will improve access for new BAE Systems facility

Money will help pay for turn lanes, roundabout on Sixth Street SW

This rendering shows the $137 million BAE Systems aerospace facility being built at 76th Avenue and Sixth St. SW in Ceda
This rendering shows the $137 million BAE Systems aerospace facility being built at 76th Avenue and Sixth St. SW in Cedar Rapids. The Iowa Transportation Commission on Wednesday awarded a $3 million RISE grant to improve street access to the facility. (OPN Architects)

The Iowa Transportation Commission on Wednesday awarded $4.45 million in funds to three projects, with a Cedar Rapids street project getting a lion’s share of the funding.

The commission awarded a $3 million RISE grant to improve access to the $139 million BAE Systems’ aerospace facility being built at 76th Avenue and Sixth Street SW, one of the largest projects in city history.

The money will help pay for turn lanes and a roundabout on Sixth Street SW.

The Immediate Opportunity grant is “reserved for projects related to an immediate, non-speculative opportunity for permanent job creation or retention,” according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The Cedar Rapids City Council signed off on the $4.5 million street project in December. The city’s $1.6 million will be provided through funds collected via the BAE Systems tax increment financing district.

The BAE project retains 232 full-time jobs out of 650 RISE-eligible jobs, with $177.4 million in associated capital investment, the commission said in a news release.

The Cedar Rapids City Council and Iowa Economic Development Authority have approved $25.8 million in tax incentives for the global defense and aerospace company to locate in the city.

Ryan Companies started construction in October and is expected to finish by October 2022. Until then, BAE Systems employees will continue to work in Collins Aerospace’s facilities in Cedar Rapids and Coralville.

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BAE Systems, based in the United Kingdom, agreed to buy Collins Aerospace’s military Global Positioning System business last January for $1.9 billion after U.S. Department of Justice regulators asked Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids’ largest employer, to divest the unit. That move was part of the merger between Raytheon Co. and Collins’ owner, United Technologies Corp.

Comments: (319) 398-8494; marissa.payne@thegazette.com

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