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Roadtec Inc. is paving the way to add 128 more jobs at the company's Manufacturers Road and Riverside Drive facilities in Chattanooga with a $6.2 million expansion.

The asphalt equipment manufacturer, a subsidiary of the Chattanooga-based Astec Industries, announced plans Wednesday to relocate some of its production now done in Tacoma, Washington to its Chattanooga facilities, where Roadtec currently employs more than 400 workers.

"Roadtec has been a valued Hamilton County company for over 30 years, and I am grateful that this expansion will bring new jobs to Chattanooga's business community," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in an announcement of the manufacturing addition Wednesday. "When companies choose to expand in Tennessee, it underscores our pro-business climate and highly skilled workforce, and we thank Roadtec for its continued commitment to Tennessee."

As one of the nation's biggest producers of road paving equipment, Roadtec is expected to benefit by plans in Washington D.C. to boost federal support for highway, roads and bridge construction. Roadtec also is boosting sales from a new materials transfer vehicle, the Shuttle Buggy 3000, which Astec introduced a year ago as the latest transfer vehicle in the 32-year history of Roadtec building such equipment.

"We'll be transitioning some of product lines (from Tacoma) to the Manufacturers Road facility and this will help with our overall growth strategy," said Steve Anderson, senior vice president for administration and investor relations at Astec Industries.

Astec Industries, which former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga engineering professor Don Brock started in 1972, is a global leader in equipment manufacturing for road building and aggregate processing and also operates the Astec-brand manufacturing complex on Jerome Avenue and a Heatec factory on Wilson Road, along with its corporate headquarters on Shepherd Road. The latest job additions will boost Astec's total employment in Chattanooga to more than 1,500 workers, or nearly half of the company's 3,700-employee workforce employed at 25 sites around the globe.

The company manufactures more than 100 products from rock crushing and screening plants to hot mix asphalt (HMA) facilities, concrete plants, milling machines, asphalt pavers and material transfer vehicles.

"Our vision is about building connections whether it's to our customers, employees or the communities where we operate," said Barry Ruffalo, president and CEO of Astec Industries, Inc. "We have enjoyed a strong partnership with the state of Tennessee, city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. We look forward to strengthening that connection and bringing more growth and opportunity to the area."

The Astec expansion is among 40 projects supported by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development over the past five years in Hamilton County. Collectively, those projects have involved $1.6 billion of investment and are projected to create nearly 6,000 jobs.

"Over 80 percent of projects in Hamilton County in the last five years have been expansions, which shows that once a business puts down roots here, it has plenty of reasons to stay and grow," said Bob Rolfe, Tennessee's commissioner for Economic and Community Development.

Astec announced in January it as closing its manufacturing site in Tacoma, Washington as part of the company's efforts to "simplify, focus and grow the Astec family," Ruffalo said. The Carlson paving products made in Washington are being shifted to other Astec facilities, Ruffalo said.

Anderson said Astec is still considering other manufacturing opportunities at the Tacoma facility.

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