Concrete plant in the mix for Robinson

Gideon Bradshaw
Observer Reporter

A Beaver County concrete maker is planning to build a plant in Robinson Township ahead of growth expected from the Southern Beltway expansion.

Franklin Township-based J.J. Kennedy Inc. plans to break ground in the spring on a ready-mix concrete plant on Old Steubenville Pike near the Findlay Township line.

Along with the plant, the company’s plans call for a small office building, an 80-foot-tall silo for concrete storage and a supply yard.

Township supervisors gave conditional-use approval for the plans Wednesday. Also that day, the zoning hearing board approved a variance to allow for the height of the silo.

A portion of the planned Southern Beltway extension – including 13 miles of new tolled highway to create a more direct route between Pittsburgh International Airport and Interstate 79 – will pass through Robinson Township. The new section of turnpike is expected to open in spring 2019.

“We feel the beltway’s going to bring growth to the area, and that location ties in well with our other facilities,” said company treasurer Jim Rader.

The Robinson plant will be the company’s eighth in Western Pennsylvania.

The Robinson site is owned by Imperial Land Corp. Rader Properties LLC – owned by the same family as the concrete maker – expects to close on the purchase of the property for the plant by the end of the month, Rader said.

Rader said the timing of construction at the plant site – in a rural part of Robinson Township near Route 22 – depends on weather.

He expects the facility to be operational about six months from then.

“It’s sort of the perfect thing to go out there,” said township manager Monica Miller, who described Kennedy as a “nice family-owned company.”

Like Rader, Miller hopes the turnpike project will bring growth to the township, much of which is open space.

“This is the kind of growth that we look forward to,” Miller said. “And we’re hopeful we attract more businesses like this one.”