Concrete Pavements Shine Again on Interstate 75

Interstate 75 in Dooley County, Georgia was originally constructed in 1961 as a four-lane concrete roadway; two additional lanes were added in the 1990s. After 53 years of service with high traffic volume, improvements were needed to replace the original four lanes and widen the outside shoulders.

Interstate 75The project, awarded to McCarthy Improvement Company, was designed to replace an 11.6 mile section of the original four lanes of roadway with 10-inch concrete on a 12-inch base with new lanes constructed with 12-inch concrete on a 12-inch base, as well as widen the 10-foot inside and outside shoulders. A single batch plant was used for the 200,000 cubic yards of concrete. Argos USA provided the 55,000 tons of cement needed for the project.

The construction was performed under excessive traffic conditions with more than 53,000 vehicles a day. Thirty percent of that was truck traffic.

“This is an exciting project for our industry both from a contractor and supplier perspective. Replacing 50-plus years old concrete highlights the value of concrete and should be a shining example why longer lasting pavements are both economical and feasibly superior,” said Steve Davis, executive director of Georgia Concrete Paving Association. 

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Contact Roger Faulkner

Member News

The Wildlife Habitat Council Recognizes for CEMEX USA for Conservation Programs

Nine CEMEX USA sites in Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia recently received certifications through the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) Corporate Lands for Learning (CLL) and Wildlife at Work Programs.

Five CEMEX USA sites were recertified with Lands for Learning, including 474 sand mine, Brooksville South operations, and FEC quarry in Florida, Ohio's Fairborn cement plant, and Tennessee’s Knoxville cement plant. Seven CEMEX USA sites were recertified for Wildlife at Work, including 474 sand mine, Brooksville South operations, FEC quarry, Gator sand mine, and Lake Wales sand mine in Florida, and Georgia’s Clinchfield Cement Plant. 

The Corporate Lands for Learning certification recognizes programs for their exemplary conservation education and outreach opportunities provided to their local communities, while the Wildlife at Work certification recognizes programs for creating, conserving, and restoring habitats with the involvement of employees and members of the community.

The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit, non-lobbying group of corporations, conservation organizations, and individuals dedicated to restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat. WHC builds partnerships that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy environment.

Washington DC

EPA Designates Coal Ash as “Solid Waste” - On December 19, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule on coal ash, classifying the material as “solid waste” under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the nation's primary law for regulating solid waste. Industry has long advocated for regulation under the more flexible “solid waste” classification in lieu of a “hazardous waste” designation, as favored by environmental groups. PCA continues to examine technical aspects of the proposal to determine the efficacy of a possible legislative remedy, which House GOP lawmakers continue to support.
Contact Bryan Brendle

EPA to Propose Model GHG Rule, Pushes Back Deadline for Final Regulations - On January 7, EPA’s Acting Air Chief Janet McCabe stated during a teleconference that within the next few weeks the agency would unveil a proposed federal model regulation for greenhouse gas (GHG) controls on existing power plants. States will have the option to adopt the model rule in the event they fail to submit State Implementation Plans to comply with state-specific GHG emission reduction targets, as outlined in the proposal. The model federal regulation will be open for public comment. McCabe also stated that EPA will issue final GHG regulations on both new and existing sources “in a coordinated fashion” by mid-summer, effectively pushing back the June 1, 2015 deadline announced by the agency last year.
Contact Bryan Brendle

EPA to Conduct Three Public Hearings on Proposed Ozone Standards - The EPA last week announced a schedule for three public hearings on the proposed revisions to the 2008 ozone standards, on which federal regulators opened a 90-day comment period on December 17, 2014. EPA proposes to lower both the primary and secondary standards to a range from 65–70 parts per billion (ppb), while accepting comments on retaining the existing standard of 75 ppb, and setting a standard as low as 60 ppb. The public comment period closes on March 17, 2015. The public hearings will take place from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the locations listed below:

> January 29: EPA, William Jefferson Clinton East building, Room 1153, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW,  Washington, DC (PCA staff will attend).
> January 29: Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, Arlington, Texas
> February 2: California Air Resources Board, Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California
Contact Bryan Brendle

PCA Advocates Greater Investment in Airports - Last week, PCA joined 21 associations in signing a letter to leaders of the House and Senate transportation committees expressing support for legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Specifically, the letter encourages elected officials to modernize the manner in which airport infrastructure is financed. Led by the Airports Council International and American Association of Airport Executives, the group will continue to advocate for greater local flexibility in determining Passenger Facility Charges and the protection of the Airport Improvement Program, a federal grant program that supports infrastructure development. With the FAA’s current authorization set to expire in September, Congress is expected to consider legislation in early 2015. Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, has indentified FAA reauthorization as one of his top priorities in the new year.
Contact Collin Long

Market Intelligence

PCA’s Market Intelligence Releases the 2014-2015 State Forecast

According to the PCA State Construction and Cement Forecast report, the construction recovery continues to expand and all regions are expected to participate in 2015. Favorable demographics, pent-up demand, and improved confidence will help fuel the stronger relative growth.

The recently released state forecast expects the strongest rates of cement growth to occur in the West and South with increases of 7.6 and 7.4 percent, respectively.

The Midwest will grow by 6 percent lead by the Great Lakes while the Northeast is projected to increase 6.3 percent. Declining energy prices add downside risks in select energy states with the largest negative impact likely in the Northern Plains given their higher production costs and outsized dependence on the energy sector.

PCA's 2014 State Construction and Cement Forecasts - All States report provides five-year outlooks on state economics and cement consumption. Published twice a year (with a summer update), it includes key construction indicators as well as projects on residential permit activity, and sectoral construction spending.  

Contact David Zwicke


Check Out Safe Rooms at Las Vegas Trade Shows


PCA is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) to present a Tornado Safe Room Showcase at both the NAHB International Builders' Show, January 20-22, and World of Concrete, February 3-6, in Las Vegas.

Safe rooms produced with precast, masonry, cast-in-place, and insulating concrete form construction and adhering to the most current FEMA guidelines for building safe rooms will be on display.  Homebuilders and concrete contractors will be able to view up close the inherent resilience of concrete systems.

Contact Donn Thompson or Alpa Swinger

Manufacturing News

57th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference Promises to be Really Big

Registration is now available for the 57th annual IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference, April 26-30, 2015, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

The largest conference in the industry, this meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest economic forecast, industry news, government regulations updates, and the latest technology that impacts its operations and business continuity.

The meeting will include presentations from the industry’s top technical people, addressing the diverse technical issues and proposing potential solutions to the many challenges facing the cement industry. In addition, St. Mary’s Bowmanville facility, Canada’s largest cement plant, will host tours.

Register on-line at

Education & Training

ASA's Shotcrete Inspector Education Class Will Debut at WOC 2015

American Shotcrete Association (ASA) will present a long anticipated class for shotcrete inspectors at World of Concrete, February 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The session will cover more than 40 critical elements of shotcrete applications that on-site inspectors must know to properly evaluate and sign-off on shotcrete acceptance documents.

WOC_DiscountAs a World of Concrete 2015 cosponsor, PCA offers discount admission to exhibits. By registering through PCA and using promo code A32, exhibit admission is only $20, a $40 savings.

Additionally, PCA receives a rebate from Hanley-Wood based on the number of pre-registered attendees who come to the show.

World of Concrete 2015 will be held in Las Vegas on February 2-6, 2015. The largest, most comprehensive commercial concrete and masonry event for the concrete industry features more than 1,500 exhibitors and more than 100 seminars and conference sessions.

For discounted registration, click here.