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PCA News

February 06, 2014

Smart Investment in Infrastructure Ensures Healthy U.S. Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today Vice President Joseph Biden called for more federal spending on infrastructure to improve transportation and proved good-paying jobs.  At an appearance with Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the 30th Street Train Station in Philadelphia, Biden stressed the need to modernize the country’s ports and airports in addition to highways.

According to Gregory M. Scott, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association, responsible infrastructure investment can have a significant impact on job growth and continuing the nation’s economic recovery.

“America’s cement manufacturers are pleased that the White House is taking the lead in ensuring our nation’s infrastructure serves us now and into the future. Investing in our national infrastructure facilitates economic growth and creates jobs,” Scott said.  “In addition to providing leadership on innovative ways to replenish transportation funding reserves, PCA urges the White House and Congress to adopt new criteria to spend taxpayer money wisely by pursuing practices that will maximize our return on investment.”

One such practice is analyzing the cost not just of the initial construction of a new road or bridge, but the full cost of these projects – including maintenance and repair – over the life of the road or bridge.  “Adoption of a so-called “life-cycle cost analysis” allows federal and state transportation officials to calculate costs over the lifetime of a project and not just initial construction costs.” Scott continued.  “Such an analysis examines the durability and long-term maintenance costs of various pavement and bridge construction options and ensures projects are constructed in the most cost-effective manner, saving tax dollars upfront and over time.”

Scott said that using the right materials not only saves money, but also can contribute to a better environment. “The U.S. transportation sector burns more than 174 billion gallons of fuel each year, making up 27 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

MIT researchers found that pavement properties could affect the fuel economy of cars and trucks. If the pavement deflects or bends slightly under traffic loads, cars and trucks are running in a slight depression that increases fuel consumption. Stiffer pavements – such as pavements made from concrete -- produce less rolling resistance and better fuel economy.”


About PCA
Based in Washington D.C. with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement manufacturing companies in the United States. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at




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