Following the approval of an $884 million incentive package from the state of Tennessee and the resolution of some legal hurdles, pre-construction prep work is underway at the future site of the Ford BlueOval Assembly plant, which aims to create thousands of jobs in an area that has lacked economic opportunity for years now. However, not terribly far away at the site of the new Ford BlueOval SK Battery Plant in Kentucky, the remains of 19 humans were found in unmarked burial spots at the site of the future plant in Hardin County, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson confirmed to WAVE 3 News.
“Nineteen unmarked burials were identified as a result of the additional archaeological field work completed in March 2022,” said Katie Newton, public relations specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District Public Affairs Office. Newton also confirmed that a burial relocation took place in the same area back in 2003.
Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working with assumed family members of the deceased, the Kentucky Heritage Council, and the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office to determine where to relocate the unmarked cemetery, which must be moved in accordance with Kentucky state law. However, this move is not expected to delay construction of the Ford BlueOval SK Battery Plant.
Ford BlueOval City – a massive, sprawling complex that represents a $7 billion dollar investment in electrification for the automaker – was revealed last September and has since garnered a ton of press and local praise. When finished, Ford will produce a number of electric vehicles – including an as-yet-unnamed next-generation electric Ford F-Series model that will ride on its own dedicated platform – as well as EV batteries, while also housing a number of the automaker’s suppliers.
Meanwhile, Ford is investing an additional $5.8 billion in its twin SK battery plants in Kentucky that will power a new lineup of Ford and Lincoln EVs. All of these facilities are part of Ford’s $50 billion investment in EVs as it aims to produce two million units annually across the globe by 2026.
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the burials were found at the Ford BlueOval City site in Tennessee. Ford Authority regrets the error. Thanks to FA reader Eric for bringing this to our attention!