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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.

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

Fly ash, chemical interests hold their ground in highway bill, LEED debates

Leading up to the MAP-21 legislation that will stabilize federal highway and bridge funding through fall 2014 (note page 8), Capitol Hill saw another sound challenge to the languishing coal ash rule the Environmental Protection Agency proposed two years ago. As concrete producers and allies know all too well, the agency’s “Identification and Listing of Special Wastes: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from Electric Utilities” includes an option that would classify impoundment- or landfill-bound coal ash as hazardous waste. Opponents correctly point to the highly negative effect that would have on market prospects for recyclable coal ash products, especially fly ash.

Read more: Fly ash, chemical interests hold their ground in highway bill, LEED debates

Fly ash, chemical interests hold their ground in highway bill, LEED debates

Leading up to the MAP-21 legislation that will stabilize federal highway and bridge funding through fall 2014 (note page 8), Capitol Hill saw another sound challenge to the languishing coal ash rule the Environmental Protection Agency proposed two years ago. As concrete producers and allies know all too well, the agency’s “Identification and Listing of Special Wastes: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from Electric Utilities” includes an option that would classify impoundment- or landfill-bound coal ash as hazardous waste. Opponents correctly point to the highly negative effect that would have on market prospects for recyclable coal ash products, especially fly ash.

Read more: Fly ash, chemical interests hold their ground in highway bill, LEED debates

Sounding out on environmental product declarations

Good news (see page 20) from leading construction market data sources: In a revised forecast, Portland Cement Association Chief Economist Ed Sullivan calls for 2012-2013 cement consumption a point or two greater for each year than he had previously projected. And, McGraw-Hill Construction economists confirm in their new Nonresidential Building Index positive commercial, industrial and institutional project trends leading into next year, their confidence underpinned by a decade of Dodge and U.S. Department of Commerce data.

Read more: Sounding out on environmental product declarations