We've injected almost $4 trillion in emergency spending back into our economy via rounds of stimulus checks and massive bills funding the country's infrastructure that could include the repair of our roads, highways, airports, and bridges. We've also injected a vaccine in an effort to protect the population from COVID-19. According to the CDC tracking website, covid.cdc.gov, at the time of this writing, 60.5% of adults have received at least one round of the vaccine. That's a great statistic, but once you start counting in the population that included, we have a bit of work to do before we reach "herd immunity" levels.
Complicated, yes. Undeniably big, definitely. But from where I'm sitting, it's not concrete construction's only issues. There's the challenges in finding skilled labor, the global efforts being done to reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete/cement industry, not to mention shortages of materials seemingly almost across the board. Where some entities are asking for steel tariffs to be eased, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) released a statement urging they remain to keep the supply coming from American soil. As reported in AISC's May 19 release, "Steel production has increased by more than 50% in the last year and steel mill employment has increased by nearly 3,000 since September...Since the tariffs took effect, American steel producers have announced plans to invest more than $15.7 billion in new or upgraded facilities."
And there's lumber. I believe I saw a Forbes article reporting that the cost of lumber was up 280%. (So much for redoing my deck this year.)
Yet, despite all of the above - the community has never stopped innovating. The impressive creativity you can find on contractor's social media feeds defines the resolution of those hands caked with concrete dust. The innovations of new solutions and technologies reducing the industry's carbon footprint have never ceased. For example, the new products as seen on page ##. The work from your end and on the manufacturers of the tools and equipment for you to do your job as best as possible is truly commendable, especially in this "unprecedented" period in this country's history.
Speaking of repairing our infrastructure, if you are one of the contractors out there hired to repair the concrete for a road or bridge, we'd love to hear about it (if possible). Tell us what you worked on, the problem/s, and all about the repair.
As always, stay safe out there.