|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
Durant, Oklahoma, and the surrounding area have historically been an area of high poverty. Recently, the slowdown in the oil and gas industry has had a significant impact on the area, a loss that was further compounded by the closure of a local manufacturing company.
In order to attract new manufacturing opportunities to Durant, the city needed to improve its transportation infrastructure. In the past, traffic traveling through Durant on the interstate needed to negotiate two ninety-degree turns within downtown Durant. These traffic conditions were not only very hazardous and inefficient, it limited the size of trucks capable of safely traveling on this route. This proved to be a major deterrent for companies to locate in Durant and a change was required to attract major employers, including a global steel company.
In September 2015, EDA invested $1.5 million to construct on/off ramps to correct this problem and allow companies to locate in the city. As a result of the EDA investment — as well as the participation of the city of Durant, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Durant Industrial Authority and the State of Oklahoma — Commercial Metals, a global steel company, will locate in the area. The EDA project supported Commercial Metals' proposed high-tech micro-mill that will produce rebar, angle iron, and steel fence post. As the proposed ramp construction is essential for the company's operations to be successful, the City estimates that the EDA investment will result in the creation of 200 jobs and the generation of $342 million in private investment.