Jan 24, 2023 - Business

Intel's "Ohio One" mega chip factory is bigger than you think

A tractor at the Intel construction site in Ohio, with letters on dirt reading "Ohio let's build."

The Intel groundbreaking site in Licking County last September. Photo: Paul Vernon/AP

A full year after announcing its $20 billion mega project, Intel offered a construction update on the semiconductor plants now dubbed "Ohio One."

Why it matters: Our area cannot have too many reminders of what a haul this project is and how much it will shape Central Ohio.

  • Here are some ways to put the massive ongoing construction into perspective:

🚛 Crews have already moved roughly 62,000 dump truck loads of earth.

  • Lining up those trucks at a modest 15 feet apiece would stretch from COSI to Louisville, Kentucky.

🚜 They've also moved 700,000 tons, or 1.4 billion pounds, of rock and lime.

  • That's over 3,100 times the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

👷‍♀️ Construction workers have totaled 160,000 hours at the site.

  • That's 49,230 straight viewings of "Titanic."
  • It's also the time it would take to continuously walk 109 round trips from Columbus to the Hollywood Sign in California.

💵 Intel is investing $20 billion in the project, with the potential for much more.

  • That's around four times the current market capitalization of the entire Wendy's fast food chain — for one project.

What they're saying: Jim Evers, an Intel VP and general manager of the construction site, likened the project to the Wright Brothers, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.

  • "Ohio One represents a nod to the past and a look to the future of technology innovation for the Midwest and America," Evers wrote in a blog post.

What we're watching: With such a large project comes controversial planning ideas, including the recent floating of a second outerbelt to handle the influx in traffic.

  • The suggestion faced immediate blowback from local officials and transit experts.
  • Harvey Miller, director of Ohio State's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, put it bluntly: "A second outerbelt is climate arson."
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