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Rallying for resiliency

Understandably upstaged by federal tax policy wrangling are common sense U.S. House and Senate measures compelling states and builders to promote sound, performance-based residential and commercial construction practices. One bill introduced before Hurricane Sandy, and a second one after, have an underlying message to public and private property owners: If a future weather event sends you to Washington, D.C., with hat in hand for relief, demonstrate for all federal taxpayers a commitment to homes or buildings equipped for high wind and water delivered in vertical or horizontal bursts.

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RCC: Asphalt Pavement’s Good Cousin

We close this year Illinois centric: a December cover story on Prairie Material Sales’ roller compacted concrete pavement program follows a November cover feature on Ozinga Brothers Inc. and its fleet-wide conversion from diesel to compressed natural gas fuel. Synonymous with Chicago concrete, both producers warrant the attention.

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A candidate who feels industry’s EPA pains

Should he prevail next month, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney can be held to his five-point Plan for a Stronger Middle Class. One bullet under the Energy Independence point would test a Romney administration’s willingness to help construction interests by reigning in the Environmental Protection Agency: “Eliminate regulations destroying the coal industry.”

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Prospering in precast/prestressed

We focus this month on precast/prestressed in advance of the PCI Convention and National Concrete Bridge Conference, September 29–October 2 in Nashville. Plant and project visits remind us how the segment has fared during the recession: Producers tied to the transportation market, fair to strong; those in commercial building, fairly weak. Among the companies we examine are Florida’s Finfrock Design-Construction-Manufacture (pages 26–29) and Texas Concrete Partners (pages 30–33).

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Teamsters test insidious bargaining unit standard to split dump, mixer driver pool

By recognizing a petitioned-for bargaining unit in an integrated ready mixed and aggregate producer’s driver ranks, the National Labor Relations Board has applied a standard it set in a contentious August 2011 decision, Specialty Healthcare, now under challenge in federal court.

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