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Chinese Highways

china_flagJanuary 21, 2011 -  While the do-nothings in Congress sit on their hands and let our national infrastructure fall apart, China is spending a small fortune on its highways and bridges. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, over the past five years, China’s Transport Ministry spent 4.7 trillion yuan ($713 billion) on road and water transportation – more than double the sum of the annual expenditures listed in U.S. Department of Transportation’s budget reports for the same time period. Expressways in China now total 46,000 miles, the ministry says – just a thousand miles short of the U.S. interstate system. It’s time for Congress to put their petty ideological differences aside and get to work on the critical issue of stabilizing our national infrastructure. Read the entire sobering article here.

Ed Sullivan, live from World of Concrete

pcaJanuary 19, 2011 – Edward Sullivan, chief economist with the Portland Cement Association is no longer bullish on a fast rebound for the cement market. Speaking at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas, he said that he believes the gains originally forecast for 2011 will not transpire until 2012, or beyond. He noted that mortgage foreclosures continue to be a detriment to residential construction, and the commercial market is overbuilt with high vacancy rates, so there is no great opportunity for expansion there. He is also not as positive as others in the industry that the current Congress will act on an adequately funded  federal infrastructure bill.

Fatalities Increase in 2010

tn_good_mshaJanuary 18, 2011 – Mining fatalities in the United States increased in 2010, following a year marked by the fewest deaths in mining history, according to MSHA's year-end 2010 report.  Seventy-one miners died on the job last year, compared to 34 in 2009.  Forty-eight of those deaths occurred in coal mines, and 23 occurred at metal/nonmetal operations.

Read more: Fatalities Increase in 2010

New Enterprise notes positive signs

NELSJanuary 17, 2011 – New Enterprise, Pa.-based New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co., Inc. announced results for the third quarter ended November 30, 2010. "While the company continues to operate in a challenging macroeconomic environment, our core markets are stabilizing and we saw some encouraging operating trends during the quarter that make us cautiously optimistic going forward," said Paul I. Detwiler, III executive vice president of the company. “Our capital position continues to be an area of strength and we intend to remain nimble with respect to our cost structure and investments.”

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Making some Illi-noise

iaap_logoThe Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers is a charter member of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, a statewide coalition of business, labor, local government and not-for-profit organizations united behind one objective — increased investment in Illinois’ transportation infrastructure. Since coming together in 2002, TFIC has formulated goals each year that advance this objective, which the Coalition then shares with the public and federal and state policymakers. TFIC Federal Goals for 2011 are as follows:

Read more: Making some Illi-noise