Construction of the Sustainable Beef processing plant on the east side of North Platte is on schedule, CEO David Briggs said as February came to an end, even though, to the causal viewer, relatively little progress has been made.

Briggs said there is a lot of dirt to move yet at the site to raise the elevation and get the plant above the flood zone, and the dirt has to have the right moisture to pack properly.

A well has been drilled on the site so that water is available to apply for proper compaction.

In recent weeks, workers began developing the foundation system, drilling holes 40-feet deep for caisson pilings to support the heavy above-ground structures.

Caissons are similar to column footings, spreading the load over a large area of soil, according to a description by the City University of New York.

Briggs said a lot of the structure is being built off-site and will be shipped in for installation.

“The walls are being formed in Lincoln and will be put up using cranes,” he said.

Overall, construction is expected to span two summers and two winters reaching completion in the fall of 2024.

“So far, we are right on schedule,” he said, “but the completion date will have a lot to do with the weather.”

Briggs said North Platte can expect to continue to see a positive economic impact from the project.

“Right now, contractors are eating and sleeping in North Platte every day,” he said, and that will continue as the project continues. As the population increases, there becomes more demand for goods and services as people move in for jobs.

Briggs expects the project to employ about 300 workers during construction. He said another 500 Nebraskans are expected to arrive to work at the plant when it is built.

(This report was first published in the Bulletin’s March 1 print edition. Photos by Kat Tedder. This report was first published in the Bulletin’s March 1 print edition.) Below: Building the grade, March 1.

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