Association News

Make Plans for Cement, Concrete Industry Fly-In

ACPA is encouraging members and affiliates to participate in the 2020 Cement & Concrete Fly-In, which will be held in Washington, DC, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 19th and 20th.

Registered guess will have the opportunity for briefings and discussions, followed by group meetings with Congressional offices and top Federal officials to discuss issues impacting the industry. The cement and concrete industry collectively has 600,000 employees and contributes more than $100 billion each year to our nation’s economy.

Please make plans today! Click here to register at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, DC, and here to register for the fly-in. A detailed agenda will be posted in ACPA TODAY as soon as it is available. 

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

Arkansas Appoints DOT Director

The Arkansas Highway Commission has named Lorie Harris Tudor, P.E. as Director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT). Tudor will succeed Scott Bennett, who announced he will retire on March 20, according to an ARDOT press release. 

Tudor began her 36-year career with what was then the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department in 1981 as a clerk typist. She left the Department in 1995 to return to college, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Memphis.

She returned in 1998 as a Civil Engineer I in the Planning Branch. She held various titles in Planning, Research, and Program Management, becoming Assistant Chief Engineer for Planning in 2011. In December 2014, she was named Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. 

Tudor becomes ARDOT’s first female Director, and the fifth person to serve in that role in the Department’s last 47 years. Previous ARDOT Directors are Henry Gray (15 years), Maurice Smith (6 years), Dan Flowers (17 years) and Scott Bennett (9 years).

Engineering Firm: Gas Tax is Less Than You Think

On average, American drivers pay about $25 per month or $274.69 annually in federal and state gas taxes, says infrastructure solutions firm HNTB. The figures are based on numbers from ARTBA, FHWA and the EPA. 

Compared to other critical public services, the cost for their transportation systems lags far behind, they say. For example, annual average electric bills for U.S. homes totaled about $1,340 in 2017, according to the U.S. Energy Administration. 

Annual broadband internet service totaled $794.04 that year, according to information from FORBES magazine. The firm also says a family of four paid an average annual water bill of $844.68 in 2019, based on information from Statista. The company also reports Americans’ individual mobile phone bills average nearly $100 a month or $1,200 per year, according to bill pay service Doxo.

Click here to read more. Click here to view and download the full infographic to share with your colleagues or by social media.

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Illustration: Detail of infographic shows average gas taxes paid annual, compared with costs of electricity, mobile phones, water, and broadband internet service.  (Credit:  HNTB Corporation)

PCA: Modest Cement Consumption Ahead

PCA Market Intelligence expects cement consumption will grow by 1.7 percent in 2020, according to PCA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Ed Sullivan, who predicts cement consumption will be at moderate growth levels through this year and into 2022. 

The potential for stronger than expected construction in residential construction could add one full percentage point to this outlook, Sullivan says.

“The economy rests on two pillars, consumer spending and labor markets,” according to Sullivan during PCA’s press briefing at World of Concrete. “As long as the economy continues to grow and create jobs, the economy will remain on solid ground and continue to support cyclical portions of the cement market. But the economic recovery is aging and losing its zip. Economic growth will gradually slow, along with construction activity and cement consumption growth rates.”

The aging of the recovery makes the economy, and cement consumption, more vulnerable to potential disruptions. Economic challenges include slower global economic growth, declining consumer sentiment, trade issues, and the threat of coronavirus fully hitting the United States, he says.  

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Photo depicts sustainable building design & construction. Photo source: PCA website.

News from Capitol Hill

This is the latest installment of highlights of PCA’s “This Week in Washington” update. Interested in seeing more? Become an ACPA Advocacy Interest Member.* Advocacy Interest Members are eligible to participate in the Legislative Issues Committee (LIC). Click here to join!

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the recipients of the most recent round of Airport Improvement Program funding. Specifically, DOT awarded $520.5 million in airport infrastructure grants to 287 airports across the country, ranging from rehabilitating runways to constructing taxiways.

OSHA has re-initiated its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS), which will increase the agency’s focus and frequency of testing for RCS in particular industries where workers are more likely to be exposed. Several concrete and related applications are targeted. See Appendix A of the OSHA Instruction for the full list of targeted industries. The NEP directs that at least 2 percent of inspections annually shall target RCS. Furthermore, the Office of Inspector General issued a memorandum to OSHA advising that the Inspector General’s office is initiating an audit of the agency’s RCS program.

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* Advocacy Interest Membership is a special individual membership category. To be eligible for membership in this category, a member must be a stockholder, owner, director, or employee of a member admitted to any other class of membership (Article IV, Section a-i, and l). In addition, to become and remain eligible, individuals must affirm their Advocacy Interest Membership annually.

Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

 

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