There is a shortage of cement in Tucson and southern Arizona, and likely will become more acute this spring.
So says David Bittel, plant manager at Arizona Portland Cement Co. in Rillito.
Others, too, warn that demand for cement and other building materials could outpace supply this year, driving construction prices higher.
While a survey by the National Association of Home Builders indicates that building-supply shortages have eased in recent months, experts warn that construction materials will again be tight in 2005 as home builders post another strong year and non-residential construction in the United States increases over last year.
Bittel said Arizona Portland Cement has not accepted new customers of late and has rationed supplies.
"All of our customers since the summer of last year have been on allocation," he said. "Winter is our slowest period and that is especially true this year because of all the rain. Our big season is April, May and June before the monsoons hit."