April 2008 – AggBeat
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by Tina Grady Barbaccia, Senior Editor
APAC’s Arkhola Division Drives Home Hope
Discussions at APAC’s Fort Smith, Ark.-based Arkhola division concerning ideas for a community service project led to the concept of advertising on the site’s ready-mixed drums to promote awareness for local non-profit organizations. Soon after, the “Arkhola Supplies Hope” campaign was launched.
To date, there are three trucks in service for this campaign with several more to come this year, says Park Estes, vice president of sales for Arkhola Sand & Gravel.
The division covered three of its concrete trucks with advertisements for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Morgan Nick Foundation, and the Ft. Smith Boys and Girls Club. Although advertising on ready-mixed drums is not a new idea, it has not been done without any cost to non-profit groups in this region, according to Oldcastle Materials. APAC is part of Oldcastle Materials.
The No. 1 priority of this campaign is to raise public awareness and funds for these organizations with traveling billboards, Estes says. However, as a secondary benefit to Arkhola, a positive image for the construction industry is being projected, he says.
“We have had calls to our office and employees stopped on the street being thanked for what we are doing with this campaign,” Estes says. “This — and the feedback from our customers — has given all the employees of Arkhola another reason to be proud to be a part of the Arkhola team. Any of us could find ourselves in need of the services of the organizations, and it’s our hope that the ‘Arkhola Supplies Hope’ campaign will help sustain them and their noble causes to meet the needs of all.”
Vulcan Expects Home Construction Decline, Rising Sales for Infrastructure
Vulcan said it expects the broad use of aggregates in construction and the multiyear nature of highway and infrastructure projects to help offset continued weakness in residential construction and softening in certain categories of private non-residential construction, Vulcan CEO Don James said in the company’s 2007 full-year operating report it publicly released on Feb. 13.
“Leading indicators such as contract awards for highways and non-residential construction in Vulcan-served markets continue to grow and lead other U.S. markets,” James said. “Some of this increased spending is being offset by higher costs for construction inputs including steel and energy-related costs such as liquid asphalt and diesel fuel.”
The sharp downturn in residential construction activity was only partially offset by increased levels of highway construction and non-residential construction, James said. “The pricing environment for aggregates remained favorable during 2007,” he pointed out. “The average selling price for aggregates increased 13 percent in 2007 despite a 9-percent decline in aggregates shipments.”
Study: Quarry Particle Emissions Do Not Pose Health Risks
A new study on the potential impact of crystalline silica associated with Granite Construction’s Rainbow, Calif.-based Liberty Quarry has determined that silica dust at the project site will not negatively impact the health of surrounding residents.
The study modeled the likely ambient levels of crystalline silica resulting from the activities of Liberty Quarry in comparison with actual measurements taken from nearby aggregate material facilities in California and found that in all cases, the levels remained well below strict state standards.
“The state of California has introduced a Reference Exposure Level (REL) for ambient exposure to silica that incorporates significant safety margins for known and suspected health effects,” said Patrick Hessel, Ph.D., who conducted the study with Epilung Consulting, Inc., according to a press release from Granite Construction. “The levels of dust projected to arise from the proposed quarry are significantly below this very low reference level.”
The study also notes that silica dust is a very common and naturally occurring mineral. Several other sources in the area, such as the Interstate 15 Freeway and residential developments, would produce more silica dust than the quarry.
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