(BEMIDJI, MINN)        For the past 15 years, Lakes Concrete Plus, Inc. has served northern Minnesota with their ready mix, aggregate materials, septic tanks, Amvic and misc. accessories. Like many small businesses, the pandemic hit them hard, but thanks to the Line 3 replacement project, they are seeing a much-needed boost to business in their typically slower cold weather months.

“This year, because of the Line 3 replacement project,” said Marc Olson, co-owner of Lakes Concrete Plus, “multiple employees who would have normally been laid off during the winter months were able to keep working.”

Lakes Concrete Plus, Inc is a locally owned and operated business with locations in Bemidji, Fosston, Northome & Walker. The business began in 2006 and currently employs 40 employees.

Typically, the winter months mean decreased sales and reduced manpower for Lakes Concrete Plus. “Normally, we maintain a few employees in our shop who do maintenance on our equipment preparing for the coming season,” said Olson. “With Line 3 coming though, we have had to keep over double the employees on staff due to increased sales, which is a great problem to have.”

Construction on Line 3 began in early December, and has surpassed the 50 percent completion mark. More than six years ago, the Obama/Biden Administration deemed the pipeline was in need of repair. Since then, Enbridge has worked with state and federal agencies to receive more than a dozen permits and been part of the longest pipeline study in Minnesota history to ensure this project can be completed safely.

“The Line 3 pipeline replacement project being under construction has been a huge boost to the start of our season,” said Olson. “All in all, company sales have been significantly higher in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020 as a direct result of the Line 3 Project. Not only are we grateful for the increased sales, but the pipeliners are friendly and easy to work with.”

To date, there are more than 5,000 workers who have been hired to work on the pipeline, and the ripple effect on communities in the 14 counties along the pipeline route has been immense. Now, as the project heads into its planned pause due to snow melting and the ground thawing, Lakes Concrete Plus continues to work on the Clearbrook pump station.

“The project has greatly impacted our community, and dozens more along the pipeline route, in an incredibly positive way,” Olson shared. “This pipeline project has kept many local businesses open and created jobs in our community.”

For Olson, if anything changed and this project was not allowed to continue forward, it would have a detrimental impact on their businesses. Olson noted, “If the Line 3 Replacement Project were to be halted, Lakes Concrete Plus would have to lay off employees. We are currently pouring concrete on a daily basis for the Clearbrook pump station, and that has been extremely helpful for our company and our staff.”

“I am proud to share the good news that Line 3 has brought to our company, especially to help us get through the hard times because of COVID,” said Olson.  “I know I can safely speak for my fellow business owners and say that this pipeline project is a game changer for small businesses in Northern Minnesota.”


Contact: Susan Goudge
Susan@Minnesotansforline3.com | 218-556-3617