What is the relationship between Dow and Dow Corning? +
Dow Corning Inc. was formed in 1943 as a joint venture between Dow and New York-based Corning Glass, with each of the two partners owning 50 percent of the venture. Dow Corning’s first production facility opening in 1945 in Midland. For roughly 70 years, Dow Corning operated separately from its two corporate parents.
In 2016, the ownership of Dow Corning was restructured. Dow is now 100 percent owner of Dow Corning’s silicones business, which now operates as a Dow subsidiary. Production facilities in Midland are now part of Dow Michigan Operations.
What is the relationship between Dow and DuPont?+
In 2016, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) and DuPont (NYSE:DD) announced their intention to merge the two companies. Dow and DuPont announced that, following the consummation of the merger, the combined company will pursue the separation of the combined company’s Agriculture business, Material Science business and Specialty Products business into three independent, publicly traded companies, subject to approval by the Dow/DuPont board and receipt of any required regulatory approvals.
The intended subsequent separation into three independent, publicly traded companies is expected to be consummated as soon as practicable following the merger closing, but consummation of the separations is not expected to exceed 18-24 months after the merger closing.
What would change if the Dow and Dow Corning manufacturing sites in Midland are consolidated?+
Consolidating the two chemical facilities will increase Michigan Operations’ competitiveness for growth through enhanced safety and security measures, more efficient operations, and improved ability to retain existing assets and bring forth new opportunities for development and growth. Upon consolidation of the two chemical manufacturing facilities, the less than a mile portion of Saginaw Road that lies between the two sites would be vacated, causing non-Dow traffic to be rerouted to Bay City Road and Waldo Avenue.
How would consolidation impact safety and security?+
As part of Dow’s commitment to safety and the community, we believe in mitigating any security risk to our assets and the communities we live and work in, to the most significant degree we can. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided guidance around applying Deter, Detect and Delay security measures, since barriers to humans and vehicular traffic, monitoring and detection systems, security lighting and protective forces may all help in reducing risk from unwelcome actions aimed at chemical facilities. The consolidation of the two chemical sites will improve the capability of Dow to enhance its capacity to Deter, Detect and Delay, and therefore enhance the safety and security of the community.
How has Dow impacted economic development and growth within the community? +
Since its founding, Dow has been an active community partner, contributing to the well-being of the community in numerous ways. Most recently, between 2006 and 2016, Dow has contributed more than $450 million dollars to the economy through regional investments that include Dow Diamond, East End, H Hotel, restaurants and conferencing, airport investments and general philanthropy, among other efforts.
How would site consolidation impact the Midland community? +
Midland is working diligently towards creating a community of progress. This project will help contribute to the community’s endeavors to create a city that supports growth, while taking into consideration the needs of Dow.
This change also may allow for economic growth and increased commercialization of the Waldo Avenue corridor. Through an increase of traffic flow along Bay City Road and Waldo Avenue, the project has the ability to make a positive impact in this area.
How would site consolidation impact Dow Michigan Operations? +
The consolidation will enable growth, allow for substantial site efficiencies and productivity, and will help unify the site by eliminating both a physical and emotional barrier. Now that the Company is one, bringing the sites into one contiguous area adds to the spirit of a One Team mindset. Additionally, the investment will help increase its ability to compete within Dow and externally, for new business opportunities.
With regard to efficiencies and productivity, Michigan Operations would see improvements based on a new ability to:
- Better manage access to the site
- Eliminate substantial amounts of paperwork and processes associated with moving chemicals and materials, in and out of the site across a public road
- Coordinate truck traffic and dispatch (weighing loads, pick-ups, etc.)
- Centralize power distribution
- Optimize management of the storm sewer system
- Improve the rail car schedule. Saginaw Road currently closes 46 times per week because of trains passing between the two sites. These closures would no longer be necessary
How is the traffic impact being studied? +
Michigan Operations contracted with independent consultants DLZ to study the area’s traffic, forecast impacts from the traffic rerouting, and recommend changes.
Who is DLZ? +
DLZ is one of the top consulting firms in the architectural, engineering, and surveying industry.
How was DLZ chosen? +
The City of Midland recommended DLZ because of its reputation, because of its familiarity with the community, and because it is currently working with the City on other projects.
Which streets are being studied? +
DLZ collected traffic data at 10 intersections on typical weekdays in April 2016. These intersections included, among others:
- Bay City Road at South Saginaw Road and at Waldo Avenue
- Salzburg Road at South Saginaw Road and at Waldo Avenue
- Waldo Avenue at Schuette Road
- South Saginaw Road at Mark Putnam Road
What are the main projected traffic impacts on individual streets? +
The traffic study determined that after the closure, there would be about 600 more cars per hour traveling through the intersection of Waldo Avenue and Bay City Road at peak traffic times. This traffic load is still well below a level where the Michigan Department of Transportation would typically recommend adding an additional lane on Bay City Road or Waldo Avenue.
What are the projected impacts on emergency response times? +
If this project is completed, Dow will allow emergency responders to pass through the site, ensuring that no additional distance is travelled.
What roadway and traffic control enhancements have been proposed to minimize the impact? +
Traffic engineering firm DLZ made several recommendations for a smooth flow of traffic, all of which will be implemented if the proposal is accepted.
- Saginaw Road at Bay City Road - all directions: upgrade signal and optimize timing.
- Saginaw Road at Salzburg Road - no recommended changes
- Saginaw Road at Waldo Avenue - all directions: upgrade signal, add protected left turn signal, and optimize timing
- Waldo Avenue at Salzburg Road - convert all-way stop to signalized intersection.
- Waldo Avenue at Bay City Road
- All directions – Upgrade signal and optimize timing
- Northbound – Upgrade signals to allow permitted-protected left turn phases, extend the left turn storage lane by 100 feet.
- Eastbound – Reassign the approach lane assignments to include one left turn only lane, one through lane, and one right turn only lane. Upgrade signals to allow for permitted-over eastbound right turn phase.
Can’t Dow build a bridge or dig a tunnel to connect the two manufacturing sites, instead of closing that portion of the road? +
Dow thoroughly investigated all options, considering impact to Dow, employees and the community. Both the bridge and tunnel are cost-prohibitive, with estimates to build costing more than $15 million and $30 million respectively. Additionally, both options create added safety and security concerns, versus enhancing safety and security which closing and rerouting that section of road would provide.
Who will pay for the roadway enhancements? +
Dow will pay for the road and traffic improvements recommended by DLZ.
When would work begin? +
Dow has not yet decided to submit an application to the City of Midland to vacate this portion of Saginaw Road. Upon deciding to do so, we will follow the City’s process, and it is the City’s decision on whether or not to approve. If plans are approved, design work would begin later in 2017. Road and traffic signal improvements would start in 2018, as would construction of the new site entrances and fencing.