By The Observer
R.D. Mac Inc./La Grande Ready-Mix is settling into its new building and adjacent facilities on MacAlister Road next to Interstate 84.
As one man took care of dispatch from the batch office in the new building one day recently, others were outside washing up their trucks as the days jobs neared their end.
Across the former grass hay field, one huge machine scraped off the topsail and another gathered it up, 24 cubic yards at a time and hauled it to another spot. They started work Monday.
Well sell that later to the public, said plant operator Mike Good. Good topsoil is hard to come by.
Once the rock level is reached, the crusher will come in and begin mining the material from the 100-acre site.
Well stockpile various grades of crushed rock right here, Good said. Well mix the rock and ready-mix on this site.
He pointed out a three-sided structure, that will soon have a top over it, too, where cement trucks back in to be loaded with concrete. At the old site, the trucks drove through the loading area. That was like a wind tunnel, Good said.
When he spoke, the company was still hauling material, including concrete, from its old site on the Grande Ronde River.
Newly poured scales, with a lot of concrete and state-of-the art weighing devices, outside the building still need 28 days to cure before they go into use.
The huge earth-moving machines, hired from the Iron Triangle Co. of John Day, normally work in road-building, he said. The scraper and bulldozer should be done in 1 to 2 weeks, Good said, making the area ready to be mined.
We wont have the crusher set up until about June 1, Good said.
A berm outlines the edge of most of the property.
Both deciduous and evergreen trees have been planted along some of the border and on both sides of the road that the company put in leading off MacAlister. All have a drip irrigation system. Trees that were planted earlier but died have been replace, Good said.
There are two wells on the site, one to serve the building and the other to serve the rest of the operation.
Four large diesel tanks sit not far from the offices to serve the 15 trucks operated by the 20-25 company employees, counting the seasonal workers. The company serves basically Union County, Good said.
We like this site. This gives us everything in a centralized area and were away from the river. This project has been five years in the making, said Good, who has been plant manager for seven years. This company is about 50 years old, and we look forward to serving the county for many more years.
While the move is not quite complete, Good said the batch plant operation was down only one business day as far as being able to provide concrete to customers.