Although some funding and final permits are still awaiting state approval, plans for building the $1.1 billion Big River Steel plant in Arkansas are advancing. "They [Big River Steel executives] still think that a third-quarter closing is within reach and they plan on breaking ground the same day they close," said Arkansas Economic Development Director Grant Tennille. "So we may begin to see construction probably ... in the September time frame. If things slip a little bit, it'll probably be closer to November." About 2,000 construction workers will be needed for the project.