Aggregates and the Olympics


September 1, 2012

By Therese Dunphy



From an opening sequence that showcased James Bond and Queen Elizabeth parachuting from a helicopter to Gabby Douglas’ gymnastic feats to Michael Phelps’ record-setting number of medals, the 2012 Summer Olympics kept viewers glued to the coverage.

Despite an ever-growing cable line-up, ratings were up 10 percent from those during the Beijing games. And while viewers likely focused on basketball, rowing, or whatever sport was their personal favorite, they likely got a glimpse of a supporting member of the 2012 Olympic Team — Aggregate Industries (AI). The company won two major materials contracts from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), including the following:

1) The supply of aggregates, including crushed rock, sand, gravel, and recycled fill material; and

2) The supply of ready-mixed concrete (awarded to its subsidiary, London Concrete).

AI delivered more than a million metric tons of aggregate fill material, as well as the aggregate for more than 400,000 cubic yards of concrete. Beyond the two main contracts, the producer also supplied more than $14 million worth of asphalt surfacing (including recycled asphalt) and 1,500 precast units for terracing and staircases.

“Our commitment to sustainability ensures we offer our clients responsibly sourced materials together with alternative recycled and residual waste products, combined with the ability to use our rail and barge capabilities, which reduces the impact of CO2 due to long haulage,” AI noted in a press release on the project.

The company’s ability to deliver material via rail and barge was particularly important; the ODA specified that half the materials used on the Olympic Park construction should be brought to the site using sustainable transport such as rail or water. AI says it exceeded the target, with up to 24 trains per week — each carrying 1,200 metric tons — delivering aggregate to the site. Alternatively, an estimated 100,000 vehicle movements would have been required.

To meet ODA’s requirement that 25 percent by weight of all materials be comprised of recycled or secondary products, AI used secondary aggregates created through the production of china clay, recycled rail ballast, recycled construction and demolition waste, and glass sand manufactured from recycled bottles.

As London spent two weeks in the worldwide spotlight, AI’s use of sustainable materials made a medal-worthy showing.



3 things I learned from this issue


1. Rubber bedliners may extend the service life of haul trucks by 20,000 hours, page 20.


2. Short-cycle loading movements should range from 33 to 40 feet, page 27.


3. A hopper opening should not be more than one-third of the deck length, page 35.

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