Knife River construction backlog means busy summer

A wet spring kept Knife River Materials crews from paving roads until July, so now the company has many months worth of work lined up in Southern Oregon.

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Knife River Materials got off to a late start paving Southern Oregon roads due to a wet spring.

The project backlog now means that despite a slow economy, the company will keep busy for the next few months.

Even in relatively slow times, Knife River contributed to its parent company’s second-quarter profit. MDU Resources Group, a natural resources and energy company, Tuesday reported earnings of $48.8 million on revenues of $906.4 million in the second quarter.

Knife River’s Southern Oregon division builds and paves roads, and sells rock, gravel and sand in Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath counties. While the work is lined up for the coming months, the economy has taken its toll on the company’s activity. “As our workload shrinks, we keep shrinking our business,” [Knife River’s Southern Oregon president Mike] Crennen said. “We’ve got $30 million of work on the books in those four counties compared to $45 million this time last year and our work force is down from 400 to about 300.”

Read more at Ashland Daily Tidings.

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