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Flying High

I just flew in from the ConExpo-Con/Agg show in Las Vegas, and boy are my arms tired. Okay, the “arms tired” part isn’t completely true. To be honest, every part of my body is tired!

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Highway Construction Posts Gains in 2010

New construction starts in December climbed 19 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $450.2 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Nonresidential building rebounded after a weak November, and Nonbuilding Construction was lifted by the start of several large electric utility projects. Gains were registered by highway construction, which rose 7 percent. Meanwhile, residential building in December showed slight growth, continuing the gradual upward trend of recent months.

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Construction Spending Lowest in a Decade

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reported that construction spending during December 2010 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.9 billion, 2.5 percent below the revised November estimate of $807.8 billion. The December figure is 6.4 percent below the December 2009 estimate of $841.8 billion. The value of construction in 2010 was $814.2 billion, 10.3 percent below the $907.8 billion spent in 2009. That is the lowest level of construction spending in a decade.

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New Housing Starts Jump

Nationwide housing starts rose 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units in January, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The gain was due to a 77.7 percent increase in the multifamily sector, where significant month-to-month swings in activity are not unusual and where new building has been below expectations for the past several months, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Meanwhile, single-family housing starts remained virtually flat for the month, with a 1.0 percent decline.

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Vulcan Materials Receives Habitat Conservation Award

By Mark S. Kuhar

Employees at Vulcan Materials Co.’s Stafford Quarry in Virginia received international recognition for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 22nd Annual Symposium, The Business of Biodiversity.

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