The North American Concrete Alliance (NACA), along with the Congressional Cement Caucus, presented a briefing on the state of the industry and infrastructure priorities to the 115th Congress in Washington on Feb. 3.
Dr. David McDonald from the Shaumburg-based Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) participated along with 10 other organizations, including the Portland Cement Association, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and the National Concrete Masonry Association.
Reinforcing steel is part of the cement and concrete industry, which directly or indirectly employs about 500,000 people in the U.S., and our collective industries contribute about $100 billion to the economy.
For more than 90 years, CRSI has represented the steel industry in North America, an industry that produces nine million tons of rebar each year, directly employing more than 15,000 people in steel mills and fabrication shops. The majority of this steel is manufactured in efficient mills using recycled steel.
“Our products are essential to the construction of roads, bridges, and buildings, and to the design of reinforced steel in concrete,” CRSI said in a statement.
At the meeting, McDonald requested support for initiatives that will lead to a more productive and safer nation, while providing increased employment.
It is no secret that America’s Infrastructure is failing, and that the deterioration of roads and bridges is making it more difficult for the nation’s manufacturers to ship products to market. The lack of long-term and robust funding will continue to result in reduced trucking distances and longer commutes. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated an additional $1 trillion is needed across the network during the next decade for our transportation sector alone. CRSI urges Congress to find long-term solutions.
CRSI also urged Congress to support bills that provide incentives to build resilient homes and infrastructure. The Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2015 helps to save money, mitigate destruction, and prevent the loss of lives in disaster-prone areas.
This bill provides a tax credit to home owners or building owners who use resilient construction techniques when building and renovating homes and commercial structures in federally declared disaster areas.