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A Hit to American Households

AEMlogo squareJuly 24, 2019 – According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, commerce in America suffers as a result of poorly maintained infrastructure, and the costs are often passed down to American consumers. A study the American Society of Civil Engineers suggests that infrastructure deficiencies are estimated to cost American households $3,400 in disposable income this year, and by 2025 will cost the economy $4 trillion in GDP and a loss of 2.5 million jobs. And it isn’t just our roads, bridges and airports that are hurting commerce. Our nation’s waterways and harbors represent some of the most cost-effective, fuel-efficient, and safe modes of freight transport domestically, yet outdated infrastructure threatens to undermine the benefits they provide due to frequent delays and inefficiencies. Too many of our nation’s locks and dams are obsolete, and insufficient maintenance has increased unplanned stoppages by 700% over the last decade. In 2017, a study performed by the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee concluded that unscheduled, extended outages at just four of the locks that they studied would create billions of dollars of harm to shippers and other areas of the economy that their activity supports. Without increased investment in our waterways, our economy will take a hit. These are real issues that American families and businesses face every day, and our elected officials should tackle them head on with a bold new vision for how to modernize and rebuild our infrastructure.

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Highway Costs Keep Rising

RR041819 roadJuly 22, 2019 – The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently posted a first-quarter 2019 value for its National Highway Construction Cost Index (NHCCI), along with revised estimates for the second quarter through fourth quarter 2018. Prices fell 1.6% in the latest quarter, the first decline since the fourth quarter of 2017. But the year-over-year increase in the first quarter of 2019 was 10%. According to FHWA, the NHCCI "is a quarterly price index intended to measure the average changes in the prices of highway construction costs over time and to convert current-dollar highway construction expenditures to real-dollar expenditures. ... The NHCCI covers the universe of the nation's highway projects and arrive[s] at an average cost index for all highway construction."

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Okada Expands on Demand

RR071919 OkadaJuly 19, 2019 – It's always nice when there is an industry event held locally. That is a tough call when you live in Medina, Ohio, as I do. But Okada America Inc. is the exception to that rule. The company showcased the expansion and upgrade of its Medina, Ohio, facility at an open house, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony presided over by President Jim Brown. The event – attended by myself and Sales Manager Kyle Nichol – featured company representatives and customers, local dignitaries, and members of the trade press. Kudos to Greg Smith for organizing the event, and being a great host. Okada now offers construction product technology from three major facilities the United States through more than 200 U.S. and Canadian distributors.

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Out With The New, In With the Old

RR071819 HCEAJuly 18, 2019 – The Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) announced that it is holding its 31st Annual International Convention and Old Equipment Exposition The show will be held at the HCEA’s National Construction Equipment Museum, 16623 Liberty Hi Road, Bowling Green, Ohio, from Friday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 15, and is open to the public.

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The Waze to Go

RR071719 WazeJuly 17, 2019 – Those of us who travel a lot have come to rely on the app Waze for directions, road conditions and where the next speed trap is. Now, Waze’s latest update will give drivers more information about how much money they should expect to spend on tolls. While Waze has always known where the toll roads are, and allowed drivers to avoid them, the app will now list every toll’s actual price. The update, for both iOS and Android, will work in the United States and Canada. Google, which owns Waze, isn’t tracking the costs itself; users have to report the prices within the app just like they do with accidents, traffic-backups, etc.. But still, the idea is clearly to give drivers the option to avoid tolls while also helping them assess whether they have the cash on hand to pass through. More and more toll roads are taking credit cards now, thankfully, which is a plus, especially if you have driven the length of Pennsylvania lately.

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