Welcome to Rock Products’ North American Buyers’ Guide and Directory issue. There are signs that 2014 will certainly be a year for buying.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association is forecasting that beyond a modest increase in construction costs nationwide, the overall U.S. transportation infrastructure construction market will grow 5 percent from $129 billion this year to $135.8 billion in 2014.
Researchers at FMI predict Construction Put-in-Place growth rates to be slightly ahead of the GDP in 2014.
Construction employment and builder confidence are both up right now, according to industry reports.
According to Edward Sullivan, Portland Cement Association group vice president and chief economist, it is possible that all sectors of construction will record growth – residential, nonresidential and possibly public. While the growth will be broad based, half of it will come from residential construction.
In their most-recent quarterly reports, both Vulcan Materials and Martin Marietta Materials look forward to increased business in 2014. That’s a good sign for aggregates producers of all shapes and sizes.
Voters across the nation again confirmed the high value they place on transportation infrastructure improvements by approving 91 percent of November 5 ballot measures to increase or extend funding for highways, bridges and transit, and electing two transportation advocates for governor.
The votes for infrastructure improvements are especially encouraging, since in the past, voters have been reluctant to approve such measures.
Most importantly, 2014 is a ConExpo-Con/Agg year, which is the premier buying opportunity for the nation’s aggregates producers. The 2014 show is going to be a monster, with more than 2,400 exhibitors showcasing new products and technologies for every major construction industry including asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and more. More than 130,000 attendees will have the chance to explore almost 2.5 million sq. ft. of exhibit space.
The 800-lb. gorilla in the room is the need to reauthorize MAP-21, which expires in 2014. If Congress surprises us and actually accomplishes something there, next year will be a great year guaranteed.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor
Member: Construction Writers Association