William B. Allen, 55-year construction materials business veteran, 1930–2012

Sources: Allen-Villere Partners, Mandeville, La.; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; CP staff

One of the best-known management consultants and financial advisors to concrete, aggregate and cement producers, W.B. “Bill” Allen, died March 26 in Memphis after a prolonged illness. Around the midpoint of his nearly six decades in construction materials, he transitioned from independent business owner in a market destined for consolidation, to a valuation expert involved in transactions shaping current ready mixed, precast concrete and aggregate production leaders.

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University of Michigan’s Wight leads 2012 ACI officers

Source: American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Mich.

ACI has named James Wight, FACI, FASCE, president of the Institute for 2012-2013. Wight is the Frank E. Richart Jr. Collegiate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Michigan. Known for his work in earthquake-resistant design of concrete structures, Wight’s recent research has concentrated on the strength and inelastic behavior of connections in composite structures (reinforced concrete and steel) and the use of high-performance fiber reinforced concrete composites for earthquake-resistant design of critical members in concrete structures. Wight has been an active member of ACI since 1973.

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CalPortland’s Summers named 2012 NSSGA Chairman

Source: National Sand, Stone and Gravel Association, Alexandria, Va.

Ronald “Ron” Summers, senior vice president, Materials Group, for Glendora, Calif.-based CalPortland Co., was elected the 2012 Chairman of the Board of NSSGA. His election came during the NSSGA Board of Directors’ meeting at the association’s annual convention in Charlotte, N.C., on March 13. Summers began his term immediately.

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Navistar enters concrete pump chassis arena with severe service LoadStar

Sources: Navistar Inc., Lisle, Ill.; CP staff

Stepping into a market segment Mack and Peterbilt drive, Navistar unveiled a low cab forward model, suited to concrete pumping and refuse hauling vehicles, at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. The LoadStar is equipped with a stainless steel cab to minimize corrosion and increase durability; vocationally designed, variable depth frame rails for durability, light weight, and ride characteristics; ergonomically designed cab interior; and, integrated powertrain with MaxxForce engine (10, 11 or 13L), featuring CleanBurn Emissions Technology or optional natural gas version (Cummins ISL-G, early 2013).

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Columbia’s Oldest Machine Contest yields $10K in parts, mold credit

Source: Columbia Machine Inc., Vancouver, Wash.

In honor of its 75-year anniversary celebration, Columbia is holding a March 1–July 1 contest to identify the oldest of its machines still turning out concrete masonry units. The customer with the oldest operating machine will receive a $10,000 parts and mold credit, plus a free Columbia customer care visit. In addition, there will be a “participation drawing prize” given for $7,500 parts and mold credit awarded regardless of machine manufacture date.

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Cement up, aggregates down in final USGS 2011 data

Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.

Shipments of portland cement increased by 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, and annual consumption increased by 3.1 percent in 2011, compared with consumption in 2010, according to USGS’s monthly survey. Total cement shipments for 2011 were approximately 72.2 million mt, up 3.0 percent compared to year-end 2010. Cement imports for 2011 totaled 6.54 million mt, down about 3.0 percent from those through 2010.

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Sika takes equity stake in Ash Improvement Technology

A strategic alliance between Sika AG, Switzerland, and fly ash beneficiation specialist Ash Improvement Technology, New York, will support development of binder products that reduce carbon dioxide emissions tied to portland cement milling. It is the latest in a series of ventures—Calera Corp., Ceratech Inc., Flyanic LLC, Solidia Technologies—inside or outside the concrete industry aimed at a) maximizing coal combustion byproducts’ aggregate-binding capability; or, b) commercializing low-carbon alternatives to ASTM C150 product.

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Twin batch plants fuel construction of just-approved nuclear power site

Construction has stepped up several notches on the nation’s first two new nuclear units in 30 years at the Georgia Power Plant Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Ga. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted last month to approve issuance of a Combined Construction and Operating License for Vogtle units 3 and 4, the first such license ever approved for a U.S. installation. It enables work to commence full bore toward Georgia Power’s projected 2016 and 2017 unit start ups.

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