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First Look - July 2015

Granite Construction Sees Construction Materials Increase

Construction Materials revenue in the first quarter of 2015 increased 16.8 percent to $41.4 million, compared with $35.5 million last year.

America’s Rural Roads In Critical Need of Repair

A new report released by TRIP finds that the nation’s rural transportation system is in need of improvements.

U.S. Open Played on Reclaimed Quarry

The 2015 U.S. Open, hosted by the Chambers Bay Golf Course on Puget Sound, Wash., was the first championship match ever played on a reclaimed sand and gravel site.


MSHA has issued a special alert for the summer months warning operations and workers to prevent heat stress. Overexposure to heat can be a significant problem especially for workers in jobs that require heavy physical labor in hot or humid environments. Heat stress occurs when internal body temperature is higher than 100 F and significantly reduces workers’ performance and can require medical attention.


Aggregates production in the first quarter of 2015 increased for both crushed stone and sand and gravel, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Crushed Stone Commodity Specialist Jason Willett. The estimated U.S. output of construction aggregates produced and shipped for consumption in the first quarter of 2015 was 389 million metric tons (Mt), an increase of 8 percent compared with that of the same period of 2014.

  • New construction starts in May climbed 3 percent compared to April’s already elevated pace, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Highway and bridge construction slipped 1 percent, although May did include the start of two major bridge projects – a $158 million bridge replacement in Indiana and a $146 million bridge upgrade in New Jersey.
  • Nationwide housing starts dropped 11.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.036 million units in May from an upwardly revised April reading, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Overall permit issuance rose 11.8 percent to a rate of 1.275 million, the highest level since August 2007.
  • U.S. manufacturing is expected to keep ship traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway bustling this season after a strong start for general cargo shipments through the navigation system. Dry bulk shipments, including road salt, coke for steel production and construction materials totaled 1.7 million metric tons, up 4 percent.


WTI crude oil futures price: 6/19/2015: $59.61/bbl, down $0.35 from week earlier; down $46.82 from year earlier.

Natural gas futures price: 6/19/2015: $2.816/mmBtu, up $0.066 from week earlier; down $1.768 from year earlier.

Weekly coal production: 6/13/2015: 15.356 million tons, up 0.232 million tons from week earlier; down 3.215 million tons from year earlier.

Natural gas inventories: 6/12/2015: 2,433 Bcf, up 89 Bcf from week earlier; up 730 Bcf from year earlier.

Crude oil inventories: 6/12/2015: 467.9 mmbbl, down 2.7 mmbbl from week earlier; up 81.6 mmbbl from year earlier.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration