(CLEARBROOK, MINN)   Last September, people and businesses in Northern Minnesota were still waiting to see if or when final permits would be issued to allow the Line 3 Replacement project to move forward.  One year later and construction work on the more than $2 billion dollar project is now almost complete.  Local construction-related businesses who worked on different parts of the project are looking back and noting how Line 3 created an important and significant impact for their companies and their employees.  Companies like Gustafson & Goudge in Clearbrook, Naylor Heating & Refrigeration in Bemidji, and State Group Industrial in Solway say the opportunity to be a subcontractor for this project has been incredibly important and created a significant long-term benefit.    

“This has been an amazing year and it has meant a lot to our company and employees to be part of this project,” said Paul Gustafson, Vice President of Gustafson & Goudge.  “The work was really great to be a part of and it helped our bottom line at a key time.  Our workers were busy most of this year and now have more money and support for their families.  Our team has gained more experience now and we have been able to do even more to invest in our company because of Line 3.  Work is clearly winding down, but we will feel the great impact for years to come.”

“This clearly is a massive project that takes a lot of people working together to get done,” said Dave McCollum, President of Naylor Heating & Refrigeration.  “For our company and our team, the part we were able to work on was really important.  It came at the right time for our employees, our company, and our communities.  While the work is now close to coming to an end, when it started it was an immediate and important lift for all of us.  It was an economic lifeline for so many after COVID impacts and we are proud to have had the chance to play a role in what we think is a transformational project for our region.

“Years from now I believe this project will continue to be important and continue to teach an important lesson,” said Gary Kroening, Project Manager & Estimator with State Group Industrial USA, Ltd., in Solway.  “For our workers and our company, the chance to work on a part of Line 3 was both an immediate lift as well as something that will continue to help us all going forward.  We are very proud of the work we have been able to do, and it means a lot to our team.  The money invested with our company and others helped many of us to re-invest in our businesses that will help us for years going forward.  For our employees, being part of a project so focused and committed to the highest level of quality shows our future customers what our team can do. All of this matters and after an amazing year, it’s an interesting time to reflect on what has happened.”

After more than six years of review and permitting approvals, construction on Line 3 started in December of 2020.  The replaced Line 3 is expected to be activated later this year, upgrading the line and restoring its ability to safely move oil to the line’s original capacity.  The project will increase environmental protections and decrease the need to use less-safe ways to transport oil and related materials as the country continues to transition to a more renewable energy-focused economy.

Line 3 is the largest privately financed construction project in Minnesota history, coming at a key time as the region struggled with issues related to the economic impact of COVID. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics concluded via their analysis that the project would create approximately 8,600 jobs and will represent an investment of over $2.0 billion in the 15-county study area in the northern portion of the State of Minnesota.

“What we have seen and what our company has experienced because of Line 3 not only proves the validity of the UMD analysis,” Gustafson said, “it connects this important data to real life.  There will likely always be a debate by some about this project but what can never be dismissed is the reality and the positive impact building Line 3 has had in our community.  Long after work is done and the sites have been restored, our people and our community will still be connected to what Line 3 means and what it means to us all.”

The decision to replace Line 3 was made by the Obama Administration. To complete the project, Enbridge has invested more than $2 billion, employed more than 5,000 people, and created an important economic impact to help the region recover from the COVID economic challenges.

The Biden Administration recently filed its support of federal permits for the project as part of legal proceedings.  Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently reaffirmed his support for the project via an editorial in the Duluth News Tribune. 


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