The Houston Chronicle's August 9, 2017 Business Section cover photo ("Container volume climbs at port") noted how container traffic increased by 14 percent in the first half of 2017, and that the Port of Houston Authority will extend gate hours to accommodate the increased activity. It's cover photo for the story showed an aerial view of the Bayport Terminal unloading area, featuring RCC pavement (though RCC is not mentioned specifically). Additionally, the online version shows two additional shots of Bayport's RCC pavement (#1 and #4 in the linked slideshow).
A related article on August 10, 2017 ("Business booms at Port of Houston") notes that "Houston's port and industrial market have seen some of the quickest development in the nation." Cheap oil and natural gas have fueled a booming plastics pellets manufacturing and export industry. This has contributed to a sharp rise in industrial real estate values, and an uptick in distribution warehouse construction throughout the region.
Texas Contractor Magazine highlighted the CCT's upcoming September 14, 2017 Short Course in Wharton, TX, immediately followed by a tour of soil-cement construction on the nearby Lower Colorado River Authority's Lane City Reservoir. LCRA, Phillips & Jordan, and CH2M are organizing sponsors of this event. Click here to see the article.
San Antonio is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2018, and the San Antonio Express-News is exploring various aspects of the city's history. One of those is San Antonio's geology and how it shaped the economy and culture of the region. It's location at the crossroads of the Edwards Plateau and the prairies and plains of Central and South Texas have made it a hub for farming, ranching, energy development, limestone quarrying, and, of course, cement manufacturing. The article traces the roots of each of these industries, and notes that the historic 1880 Alamo Portland and Roman Cement Company kiln, located at the Japanese Tea Gardens in Brackenridge Park (which originally served as the kiln's source of limestone for cement production), was the second cement plant built in the United States. Now the Balcones Escarpment is home to five cement plants between San Antonio and Austin, two within the city limits. It also notes that the quarries and cement plants have been integrated into the community fabric as productive and beautiful public spaces, as operations have progressed to new areas. Besides the Brackenridge Park site, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the Alamo Quarry Market, the Quarry Golf Club, and the South Texas Area Regional Soccer Complex are all transformed quarries and cement facilities. For more information, see "Geology Guided San Antonio's History," by Brendan Gibbons, San Antonio Express-News, April 2,2017.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released two requests for proposal for U.S-Mexico border wall prototypes. The RFPs specify that the wall must resist a variety of "attacks," be climb and dig-resistant, and be aesthetically pleasing. One RFP specifies a concrete wall;, the other a wall composed of "see-through" materials. Proposals are due March 29th, and winners will be announced in late May.
Moody's has released a report, "Large Increase in US Infrastructure Spending Will Be Slow to Develop," that concludes that the Trump administration $1 Trillion infrastructure proposals will be slow to ramp up and result in limited increases in spending in the 2017 and 2018,"due to a number of political and practical constraints. This view was also reflected by the Portland Cement Association's chief economist, Ed Sullivan, at the Association's recent Spring meetings. For a summary of the Moody's report and a link to the download, go to ForConstructionPros.com, "Progress on Filling US Infrastructure Gap Likely to Be Slow Despite Calls to Action" (March 21, 2017)