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As newly assembled vehicles await delivery at Volkswagen Chattanooga, a large black curtain protects an expansion of the automaker's body shop.

Volkswagen's plans to pump up its ongoing expansion project at its Chattanooga plant today won approval from a city panel.

The new work will boost the footprint of the plant expansion by about 25 percent.

The Industrial Development Board gave its OK to a plan that adds nearly $18 million to the contract of Gray Construction to enlarge the plant's body shop beyond its original scope of work.

City Engineer Bill Payne told the board that VW is paying for the changes at the south end of the body shop. That's where VW is adding about 130,000 square feet of space above its original expansion plans.

VW officially started work on its plant expansion in January to increase the factory's size by more than 500,000 square feet as part of its plans to build a new sport utility vehicle and employ another 2,000 workers.

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.

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