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FAST Act Expiration Coming Fast

RR070220 NewHighwayBillSept. 16, 2020 – Well, here we are in September and it looks very unlikely that a new infrastructure bill will be passed by the end of the month. With the FAST Act's expiration, the only solution is a short-term extension. A legislative update from this week's National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association M&S Committee meeting indicated that the Highway Trust Fund will become insolvent in 2021 without action by Congress. They are proposing a one-year extension of the FAST Act in the hope that the new Congress will pass a fully funded infrastructure bill. It is very disappointing that despite knowing the FAST Act was due to expire, the Trump administration and Congress did not move on one of the few things they agree on: rebuilding our roads and bridges.

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Ready Mixed Production Rises

NRMCAlogo squareSept. 14, 2020 – The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association released production results for the month of June. The estimated ready mixed concrete produced in June 2020 was 37.1 million cu. yd., 11.3% higher than that in June 2019. The estimated production in the U.S. for 2020 through June is 176 million cu. yd., 3% higher than that during the same period in 2019. Ready mixed concrete production is estimated from cement shipments reported by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

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Sullivan Speaks

RR090820 sullivanSept. 8, 2020 – Portland Cement Association Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Ed Sullivan postulated two likely economic scenarios for the future as he gazed into his crystal ball. In the newly released briefing, "Coronavirus Impacts on the US Cement Industry," Sullivan suggests the possibility of a W-shaped model that includes a slide back into recession due to a significant rise in infections. But there is also a "Vaccine Scenario," in which a vaccine or therapeutic drugs reach mass distribution by mid-2021, reducing uncertainty and resulting "in dramatically improved consumer confidence [and] significantly stronger economic growth during the second half of 2021." Let's all hope for the latter. 

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A Report on Ports

RR090420 portsSept. 4, 2020 – Over the coming decades, the type and amount of trade carried by sea will change, influenced by climate policy as well as other economic factors. Ports will need to respond to these indirect effects of climate change as well as more direct effects of sea‐level rise, while maintaining their efficiency and reliability as part of global trade systems.

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Today's Rant: What Does 'Infrastructure' Mean?

RR090220 highwaySept. 2, 2020 – When we talk about infrastructure, we mean roads and highways, bridges and tunnels, airports and docks, sewer and water systems. What we are not talking about is electrical wires, cable, wireless networks, the internet and future 5G capabilities. How did all that get bundled into the word "infrastructure?"

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