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The 1919 Cross-Country Convoy

RR071519 ArmyConvoyJuly 15, 2019 – Here is a great little story from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). One hundred years ago this month, a U.S. Army convoy consisting of 81 vehicles, 24 officers, and 258 enlisted men set out on a 3,251-mile transcontinental journey, primarily as a way to test the ability of the military to move great distances over roads under wartime conditions. The convoy took 62 days to complete the trip from Washington, D.C., to Oakland, Calif., with nine vehicles and 21 men unable to finish the journey due to breakdowns and injuries, respectively. Few of the roads were paved at the time, forcing the convoy to creep along at an average speed of just over 5 mph. 

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Washington Post Calls for Gas Tax Increase

RR071119 WPJuly 12, 2019 – The Washington Post Editorial Board called on Congress to increase the federal user fee on gallons of gasoline to support infrastructure. The column suggests that there may be growing public support for lawmakers to increase this fee to fund infrastructure. According to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), the Post reported that 31 of 50 states have increased motor fuel user fees in the last 10 years. Going a step further, 22 states now have policies in place to account for inflation – something that was not done when the federal government last set the fee on fuel at 18 cents per gal. in 1993. The Post also highlighted the public support behind states efforts to raise funds for infrastructure repairs. NSSGA has long supported any effort to shore up funding for the federal Highway Trust Fund, which relies on the 1993 fee of 18 cents to fund the government’s portion of infrastructure projects.

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An All-Star Article

RR071019 OsbornJuly 10, 2019 – Last night, Major League Baseball's All-Star Game was played here in Cleveland on a beautiful summer night. Progressive Field looked great, which ties in nicely with the article, "How Concrete And Steel Built Baseball," by Vince Guerrieri. It chronicles how in the early part of the 20th century, ballparks became bigger, fancier and sturdier, with wooden edifices being replaced by new steel-and-concrete facilities. The article also contains reference to Cleveland's own Frank Osborn, founder of famed bride-building contractor Osborn Engineering. Enjoy.

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Statement About Concrete Is Not Quite True

RR070819 BuildwithStrengthJuly 8, 2019 – During the recent Democratic debate, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper claimed that the worst polluter in CO2 is China, then the United States, and then it’s concrete and it’s exhalation. Experts like Jeremy Gregory, executive director of Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have demonstrated that statements like Hickenlooper’s do not provide a complete picture. In a recent piece by Gregory, he said, “Though a building’s materials and construction certainly matter, they account for, at most, 12% of its total lifetime greenhouse gas emissions in the cases that we analyzed. Instead, the majority of a building’s greenhouse gasses are due to its energy consumption.” Build with Strength – a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) consisting of community organizations, fire safety professionals, engineers, architects and industry experts  – responded to Hickenlooper's claim. “Concrete is tantamount to rebuilding and strengthening our nation’s infrastructure. The health of the American economy relies in part on the protection of the jobs and livelihoods of the men and women who work with in the concrete, construction and other associated industries. When politicians talk about impact, they often leave out an appropriate understanding of how far the industry has come in addressing sustainability, and how vital it is to our national interests,”  said Kevin Lawlor, spokesperson for Build with Strength.

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Vulcan Rocks Out the Quarry

RR070519 VulcanJuly 5, 2019 – Vulcan Materials knows how to rock a quarry. Its Rock Out the Quarry event was held in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Friday, June 28: a fun-filled evening replete with live music, fireworks, food, and activities for all ages. From great entertainment and food, to bounce houses and games for children, there was something for everyone to enjoy. The music lineup included Darryl Little & Friends, New Dimensions and Hunter Hill. Free shuttles from nearby lots were provided by the city. For many, the most memorable part of the night was the spectacular fireworks display. Quarry Park, located in the south side of Winston-Salem, was operated as Piedmont Quarry from the 1920s to the 1970s before closing. Vulcan Materials donated the land to the city in 1988 and it was opened to the public in 2017. Quarry Park is open daily from 6 a.m. until dusk.

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