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The Time for Street and Local Road Promotion is Now

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Recently, Matt Wood, the supplemental cementitious manager with NRMCA Associate member company Ash Grove Cement Company in Portland, OR, shared a story in the April 12 edition of  The Oregonian, highlighting the collision course that the ODOT is in with falling gas taxes, less federal help and big debt payments ahead. It stated that the department’s construction programs totaled about $800 million in 2009, but is projected to fall by 2020 to $300 million or less depending on Federal funding. This is a story that, unfortunately, is shared by an increasing number of states across the U.S., notes NRMCA Senior Director, National Resources, Doug O'Neill. More states are facing significant deterioration of their asphalt roadways and limited resources to fix their problems.  Whether it’s the state DOT or a local municipality, they are facing the same troubles.

So what can ready mix producers and their allies do to get our voices of reason heard? A great place to start is with NRMCA’s SLR Promotion & Advocacy Webinar series, said O'Neill. One of the Webinar topics, "Winning Initial S&LR’s Projects in Counties & Municipalities," covers approaches that have worked to generate initial concrete projects. "I can’t stress enough how important it is for each ready mixed concrete producer to develop a relationship with the local municipalities within their marketplace," he added.

Another step is to reach out to your state association that may already have a S&LR promotion program going. If not, start one, O'Neill said. That’s exactly what a road paving contractor in New York State did several months ago. Frank Surianello with Surianello General Concrete Contracting based in Buffalo is also a former chairman of the ACPA. He decided to call together the industry in New York to meet and develop a plan of action for moving the promotion of S&LR’s forward. The initial meeting brought together representatives of NRMCA, PCA, ACPA, contractors and ready mix producers, O'Neill said. The support from the PCA with its lobbying efforts at the state level along with the resources available from NRMCA with its Design Assistance Program, ACPA and other educational opportunities are helping to move this effort forward. The article from Oregon only reinforces the opportunities that exist for the concrete industry to get our message out to the states and local municipalities that concrete paving can be a solution to their problems.

For more information, contact Doug O’Neill at

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