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AASHTO President: States, Construction, Economy at Risk

The impending insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund poses a threat to state budgets, the construction industry and the overall economy that is real and that is even closer than originally estimated, according to Mike Hancock, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ president and secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

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Ontario Group Pushes for Responsible Aggregate Standards

The Cornerstone Standards Council (CSC) has released draft standards for “responsible aggregate extraction” in Ontario, Canada. CSC is reaching out to individuals and groups interested in the role voluntary certification can play in Ontario’s aggregate sector. The group is seeking feedback on its draft Responsible Aggregate Standards and want to know if they accurately reflect achievable expectations for progressive quarry operations.

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NSSGA Submits Comments to OSHA

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) filed formal comments with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the agency’s proposed rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

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Construction Employment Keeps Increasing

Construction employment expanded in 192 metro areas, declined in 84 and was stagnant in 63 between December 2012 and December 2013, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released Feb. 5 by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that even with so many metro areas adding jobs for the year, only 20 metro areas topped previous construction employment peaks for the month.

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Vulcan’s Fourth-Quarter Profit Soars

Vulcan Materials CompanyVulcan Materials reported that in the fourth quarter of 2013, net sales increased $78 million, or 14 percent, versus the prior year’s fourth quarter, as volumes continued to improve. Gross profit improved $38 million, or 48 percent, primarily on the strength of the volume growth and operating leverage in aggregates. Aggregates gross profit and profit margin increased $30 million and 390 basis points, respectively. Shipments increased 7 percent. Pricing increased 3.5 percent.

Read more: Vulcan’s Fourth-Quarter Profit Soars