(WRCB) -  Whitfield County has received a $1.4 million grant to make improvements to Enterprise Drive.

County Administrator Mark Gibson said he had received word in late December that the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration has approved a $1.4 million grant for road improvements on Enterprise Drive, site of the new Engineered Floors LLC facility, an advanced manufacturing carpet and flooring company.

"Currently Enterprise Drive does not extend all the way to the South Bypass," Gibson said. "With this grant, we will be able to connect Enterprise Drive with the South Bypass, signalize the new intersection, and put in what's called an access break to make it easier to turn into and out of Enterprise Drive, as opposed to having to turn onto Howell Drive now, which intersects Enterprise."

Engineering for the new road extension is already underway, and construction is expected to begin later this year. No completion date has been determined.

"There is a percentage match required for this grant," Gibson said, "but the $1.4 million will pay the lion's share of the work. Once it's completed, the improvements will make an easier route for all who travel and have business or are employed by all the businesses on Enterprise Drive."

The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration's mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda  by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy, according to EDA Regional Director Philip Paradice Jr.

EDA implements this mission by making strategic investments in the nation's most economically distressed communities that encourage private sector collaboration and creation of  higher-skill, higher-wage jobs.

"EDA investments are results driven, embracing the principles of technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and regional development," Paradice said.

Earlier in 2011, Whitfield County received a $1 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for road improvements at the new Carbondale Business Park.