Knife River: an iconic leader with a long history

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The Inland Northwest’s construction landscape is changing with the recent opening of Knife River’s state-of-the-art precast concrete facility. At 45 acres and an imposing 185,000 square feet, the new plant in Newman Lake replaces the company’s 65-year-old Spokane operation with a high-tech, sustainable facility poised to transform the industry. With its new plant, Knife River has raised the bar for innovation and sustainability in precast manufacturing. The company is driving advancements that improve productivity, quality, safety and environmental performance, while bringing precast construction indoors to accelerate schedules and reduce weather-related delays.

The Knife River brand goes back to 1917 when the company was founded near the Knife River in North Dakota. There are now over 6,000 employees that call Knife River home, working in 14 states across the Western U.S. On June 1, 2023, Knife River completed its spinoff from MDU Resources group and became an independent, public company trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Overall, Knife River’s new facility reflects a builder ready for the future yet staying true to its foundations. It sets a standard for how manufacturers can evolve while honoring team members and supporting communities. This enduring mission ensures Knife River will continue shaping the Northwest construction landscape for decades to come.

Eng. Alex DiCesare, VP MCT, affirmed: “The new Knife River Prestress facility is one of a handful of North American plants equipped with MCT 3-yd. mix delivery buckets and casting machine hoppers. They combine to shorten the window of mixer discharge gate opening and mix flow into formwork. The batch plant’s two speedy planetary mixers ensure that the mix delivery buckets are charged at rates minimizing production crew wait times”.

He continues: “A third production bay, adjacent to girder fabrication, is configured for prestressed double tee casting and hollow core plank: our special designed MCT casting machine tailored to an extruder and to casting molds.”

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