East Lansing, MI - Construction on the FRIB Project is now underway at Michigan State University.
Cement trucks were on site pouring concrete for the "Facility for Rare Isotope Beams" from 3 to 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs, generate over a billion dollars in investments in the area and make mid-Michigan a hub for nuclear research.
It has taken many years to finally get to the first day of construction. Research at the FRIB could lead to advances in the medical and national defense fields.
"You know we waited for a long time," said Project Manager Thomas Glasmacher. "We made plans, we revised plans, we accommodated budget changes, but now it's just great that we're moving ahead."
The project is expected to be completed in December 2020, after initially being proposed in the 1990s.
The project's chief scientist says around 1,300 scientists worldwide have signed up to use the facility.
Lawmakers discussed the benefits of the project back at the groundbreaking ceremony in March.
"It'll be a world-renowned center for nuclear physicists to come here to East Lansing and to Lansing and to Michigan," said Senator Carl Levin at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Until then, construction will continue on this $730 million project which both educators and lawmakers are saying will benefit not just East Lansing and MSU, but all of mid-Michigan.
"5,000 construction jobs, 400 permanent jobs, unlimited number of students that will have an opportunity to come work with the most sophisticated science research equipment," said Senator Debbie Stabenow at the groundbreaking ceremony.
And this morning, crews finally began pouring the first of four rounds of concrete on the FRIB's tunnel structure.