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CV Avenue reconstruction completed

December 04, 2008|By DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Idling behind a line of politicians and Johnson Controls officials, a tractor-trailer carrying a huge $2 million refrigeration unit waited Thursday afternoon for the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking completion of the CV Avenue reconstruction.

The red ribbon cut, the truck eased its way onto Pa. 16, lumbering westward for the natural gas fields of Wyoming. Had the crumbling avenue not been rebuilt and widened, the turn would have probably been impossible.

The $425,000 project was paid for with $300,000 in federal funds and $125,000 from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank, said U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. The rebuilt avenue will allow easier access and egress for materials coming to and finished products leaving Frick, he said.

More than 150 years ago, Frick began making machinery for the agricultural and logging industries. Since the late 1800s, however, it has been making industrial refrigeration equipment like the mammoth device lumbering toward Wyoming, which will be used to separate natural gas and carbon dioxide.

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"This facility in little old Waynesboro ships around the world," said Ron Rose, the director of process systems. About one quarter of the plant's production is exported, he said.

"There's a perception that there's not a lot of work like this being done in the Northeast," said James Furlong, the vice president and general manager for refrigeration. "Our market share is pretty significant, not just in North America, but worldwide."

Each of the industrial processing machines is essentially custom-made, Rose said. Perhaps the most unusual, said Rose, was a system to create Arctic-like conditions for indoor tests of a military jet.

Frick was purchased about 20 years ago by York International, which in turn was bought by Johnson Controls in 2006, said Richard Smith, the director of operations for industrial refrigeration. About 600 people work at the plant, including a sizable contingent of engineers, designing and building equipment cooling equipment and compressors for industrial and food processing applications, he said.

Shuster, state Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin, former state Sen. Terry Punt, state Sen.-elect Richard Alloway II, Waynesboro Mayor Richard Starliper, Borough Council President Craig Newcomer and other officials joined in the ribbon-cutting.

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