Portland Cement Association (PCA) congratulates President-elect Barack Obama and Vice president-elect Joe Biden on their election.
“Because we are based in Illinois, we are especially proud of our home-state Senator and his agenda for rebuilding and renewal,” said Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO.
Throughout his campaign, President-elect Obama expressed strong support for restoring and enhancing the nation’s infrastructure critical to economic growth. Infrastructure funding will create thousands of jobs—50,000 for every billion dollars of spending—and ensure that states are able to complete current projects and schedule future construction.
PCA is keenly aware that the nation must meet its infrastructure needs while protecting and sustaining the environment for future generations. The use of sustainable construction materials such as concrete and its key ingredient, cement, will become much more important in the coming decade.
“Concrete has long been the foundation of our nation’s buildings, roads, and homes. Today its value as the most sustainable building material of choice makes it ideal for long-lasting roads and energy-efficient homes,” said McCarthy. “We look forward to working with the upcoming Obama Administration and 111th Congress to meet our infrastructure needs economically and sustainably.”
For example, today, traffic congestion in United States wastes three billion gallons of fuel and contributes to the release of 27.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, according to a PCA report. The overall economic impact of traffic delays adds up to $80 billion per year. By the year 2032, the nation’s highways will see an additional 49 million drivers and 58 million vehicles. Wasted fuel from traffic delays will more than double, to 6.5 billion gallons annually. Carbon dioxide emissions traced to congestion will increase to 60 million tons. Without improvements to our roads and highways, wasted time and higher transportation costs will result in a cumulative economic impact that could exceed $150 billion annually.
“Concrete plays an important role in cutting fuel consumption. Studies have shown that vehicles can run more efficiently on concrete highways, thereby reducing fuel costs,” explained McCarthy. “In addition, concrete roads are more durable, reducing the congestion and saving state governments from the expense of frequent resurfacing.”