A strong national economy and excellent quality of life are built on a foundation of aggregates products. Aggregates touch our lives everyday, from the driveway to the workplace. We drive, sit, stand and walk on aggregates. But that is only part of this interesting and important story.
Getting goods to market is paramount to economic growth. The nation's infrastructure is dependent upon aggregates -- more than ninety percent of asphalt pavement, and more than eighty percent of a concrete sidewalk, is comprised of aggregates. Without sound infrastructure, such as highways, mass transit, airports, water systems and rail, the economy could not grow.
Many products that enrich our daily lives contain aggregates. They are found in paint, paper, plastics and glass. In powder form, aggregates are used as mineral supplements for agriculture, medicines and household products. Aggregates are also used to protect the environment by controlling soil erosion, assisting in water purification and reducing sulfur dioxide emissions generated by power plants.
The aggregates industry is highly competitive and characterized by thousands
of operations, serving small local markets. Transportation is the major
factor in determining the delivered price of aggregates -- as freight
costs from plant to market can exceed the sale price of the product. Because
of high transportation costs, and the large quantities of material necessary
for each project, aggregates are usually marketed to local customers.
The high transportation costs explain the large number of quarries throughout
Aggregates resources are widespread and abundant in supply nationally, yet local shortages exist. Although it is better to be near urban growth areas, increasing land values and local environmental concerns are moving aggregates plants away from these markets.
The nation's economy and our quality of life are built on this foundation.