Date: February 3, 2010

News - Coalition Launching Campaign to Promote Benefits of Concrete Over Asphalt for Maryland Highway Projects

BALTIMORE, Md. (January 28, 2010) – A coalition of Maryland associations and companies in the ready-mix concrete industry is gearing up to launch an awareness campaign about the benefits of using concrete for new road construction and resurfacing projects.
While the cost of asphalt has risen along with the price of oil in recent years, concrete prices have remained relatively stable making concrete a more competitive choice. Not only is concrete more cost-effective, it is more durable over the long run and will typically last 20 to 30 years while asphalt requires frequent patching, temporary fixes and costly overlays.
But despite all the benefits of using concrete, 98 percent of all highways and roads in Maryland are made of asphalt and the engineering specifications for new construction and resurfacing projects typically call for asphalt, eluding the potential cost-savings for Maryland taxpayers.
“In our opinion, when Maryland citizens become aware of how much extra they are paying for asphalt versus concrete they will be surprised and upset,” says Steven Tripp, marketing manager with Waldorf-based Chaney Enterprises, one of the concrete coalition’s founding members. Others include the American Concrete Paving Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter and the Maryland Ready Mix Concrete Association.
“Concrete for Maryland” will officially launch during the 2010 Maryland Quality Initiative Conference on Jan. 27-28, an annual conference focused on the planning, design, construction and maintenance of Maryland's highway system. The campaign, spearheaded by Baltimore PR firm Sawmill Marketing Public Relations, will consist of social media components including a Facebook page, Twitter account and blogger outreach as well as traditional public relations and marketing outreach including speaking engagements and product demonstrations.
“Concrete for Maryland” will focus on five core messages during the first phase of the campaign:
  • Concrete is the better long-term value because a concrete road performs well for 20 to 30 years — about three times longer than an asphalt one.
  • Because it is produced locally, concrete decreases transportation costs and pollution. Most of the liquid asphalt used in Maryland is trucked in from other states.
  • Concrete is more rigid than asphalt, making concrete roads up to 4 percent more fuel efficient for cars and up to 7 percent for large trucks.
  • Concrete reflects light, making the pavement brighter while reducing the energy needed to light it by up to 30 percent. Likewise, concrete reflects heat, reducing the “heat island” effect and ambient temperatures by up to 7 to 10 degrees.
  • Using natural and recycled materials, concrete is environmentally friendly, unlike asphalt with its processed petroleum base.
“We’re facing a big challenge in changing perceptions and changing a culture that for so long has favored asphalt over concrete, but we believe the timing is right and our message of environmental responsibility and cost-savings will resonate with those who can make a difference for Maryland’s taxpayers and motorists,” said Tom Evans of the Maryland Ready Mix Concrete Association.
About ‘Concrete for Maryland’
Founded by a coalition of trade organizations and companies in the ready-mix concrete industry, “Concrete for Maryland” is an information clearinghouse and resource aimed at promoting the benefits of using concrete instead of asphalt for highway and road projects in the state of Maryland. For more information follow @concrete4MD on Twitter, view the “Concrete for Maryland” page on Facebook or call 1-877-222-6199.
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