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PCA News

September 29, 2014

Concrete Important to Long-Term Needs of Nation’s Infrastructure

Recent study shows the economic benefits to U.S. economy and beyond

WASHINGTON, DC— A recent report highlighted the risks facing American manufacturers if our nation’s crumbling infrastructure is not addressed. The cement and concrete industry, instead of contributing to the poor quality of our transportation systems’, can play a vital role in improving many aging roads in the United States.

A report from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reveals that manufacturers’ competitiveness is at risk due to a lack of infrastructure investment at the same time our country’s competitors continue to improve. NAM calls for a targeted, long-term investments from the public and private sectors to reverse these troubling trends.

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) notes that nearly 71 percent of roads in the U.S. are graded fair to poor. While the numbers have remained stable year to year, there is a long-term down trend if proper investments in infrastructure are not made. Additionally, investments in highways, roads and bridges fell 3.5 percent each year from 2003 to 2012.

“Investing in our national infrastructure facilitates economic growth and creates jobs,” Ed Sullivan, chief economist and group vice president at PCA said.  “It is also important 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.” Sullivan 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.”

PCA has called for infrastructure investment, jobs creation, passage of a new, long-term highway bill in the United States.


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

For media inquires please contact Holly Arthur at or 202-719-1979.




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