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WJBD - Local News - Salem Business Update: County Materials

John Clark

Salem Business Update: County Materials

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Operations Manager for County Materials in Salem says 2013 is starting off as a slow year for them.  

John Clark provided an update on the company's operations to the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce at their monthly luncheon Thursday afternoon.   "Last year by February we were running pretty strong. We just now got pretty well everyone back to work.   We are hoping things get turned around.  We have a little work on the books.  We're trying to get back into the three sided bridge market.  We used to do a bridge call Con Span," said Clark.

Clark said construction of the bridge had stopped back when the facility was still owned by Egyptian Concrete because of patent concerns.  However, he says those patents have now expired.  

Clark says their biggest customers include the Illinois and Missouri Department of Transportation, both of which have fewer projects due to economic conditions.  He notes the Salem plant made the 150 foot long pre-cast concrete bridge beams used on the Mississippi River bridge project.  

Clark notes last year the company had 75 employees at the Salem facility, well shy of the 160 that worked at Egyptian Concrete at one point.  He notes the physical facility can still support that many employees if they can get the work.  

Clark says County Materials is a 50 to 60 year old company headquartered in Marathon, Wisconsin.  They have 42 plants located across the Midwest.  In addition to concrete bridges, the company is also involved in making landscaping blocks, concrete piping, and concrete counter tops.  

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