CONGRESS PASSES 90-DAY TRANSPORTATION EXTENSION

Posted by Graniterock on Mar 18, 2015

Facing expiration of the latest extension of highway spending authorization on Saturday, March 31, the House and Senate passed a 90-day extension (the 9th) allowing for funding of the highway and transit programs and collection of the federal motor fuels taxes (the gas tax) to continue through the end of June. The bill will now go to the President who is expected to sign it before the current extension expires. With both the House and Senate scheduled to go into recess on Friday for the next two weeks, the action was necessary to avoid a shutdown of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and a halt of reimbursements to states for ongoing highway construction contracts.
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Big Rig Trucks and Safety on the Highway

Posted by Rose Ann Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

Everyone who drives our area highways passes commercial big haul trucks on a regular basis. But do we think about their drivers, the loads they carry or the importance of safe driving while we share the road with these big rigs? Graniterock transportation drivers recently talked about the challenges of safely navigating our area roads as they deliver construction products to our customers. 
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Home Improvement Contracts and Time and Materials Pricing

Posted by Tom Squeri on Mar 18, 2015

A recent legal presentation at Graniterock’s Concrete and Building Materials Expo has generated a lot of discussion.  One of our speakers told the audience that it is unlawful for a contractor and a homeowner to enter into a contract for home improvement work where the price term is based on “time and materials” (“T&M”).  Several in the audience were surprised to hear this, and questioned whether the statement is true.  After all, T&M contracting is relatively common, and when done correctly is a good way to ensure a fair price for both parties to the contract. 
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Twenty Years Ago - Graniterock and the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award

Posted by Rose Ann Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

Surely one of the most exciting events in Graniterock’s history took place twenty years ago, in 1992. That was the year the U.S. Department of Commerce named Graniterock a winner of the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.  In December 1992, a lucky few Graniterock Team Members were able to attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C. where President George H.W. Bush presented the award.  
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Permeable Aggregate Systems for Playing Fields

Posted by Graniterock on Mar 18, 2015

It’s no doubt that synthetic athletic fields are becoming more popular. Organizations that decide to install synthetic fields have realized lower maintenance costs and better playability. Using a sophisticated system of drainage channels, filter fabrics and specialized aggregate, a well-designed field draws water quickly from the turf layer allowing year-round play and reliable playability in wet weather. 
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Tender Asphalt Mixes - Causes and Cures

Posted by Graniterock on Mar 18, 2015

A“tender” asphalt mix usually refers to a mix that is difficult to compact. It may have a tendency to shove under the roller wheels and/ or leave longitudinal cracks at the edge of the steel drums. Either a lack of friction between particles or a lack of shear strength in  the mix essentially causes tenderness. Both these problems can be the result of many factors, the most common of which we will discuss. 
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The Easton Family of Santa Cruz

Posted by Rose Ann Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

Toward the end of the 19th century, many ambitious young men were drawn to careers in mining and construction. They dreamed of opportunity in the untapped riches of the West. Wallace Stegner’s novel, Angle of Repose, tells one such story and provides insight into the life and aspirations of western geologists and engineers of that era. The Easton family of Santa Cruz had three sons who followed a similar path, became civil engineers and played a large role in the early story of Graniterock and the development of California.
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More on the Economy - Housing Trends

Posted by Bruce W. Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

The Federal Reserve realizes that the U. S. economic recovery is not likely to strengthen appreciably until residential construction recovers. The recent agreement between state attorney generals and major U.S. banks to resolve disputes regarding the handling of housing foreclosures is a plus. Now progress can be made in dealing with the shadow inventory of housing that is in default or mortgages that remain unpaid. In communities with a high number of shadow inventory homes, it is very difficult to get the housing construction sector started again because buyers fear that home prices will go down when the shadow inventory is put on the market.
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Fog Sealing Older Pavements

Posted by Graniterock on Mar 18, 2015

In its “A Basic Asphalt Emulsion Manual”, the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association and the Asphalt Institute describe a fog seal as a “light application of slow-setting emulsion sprayed on an existing asphalt surface.” Properly applied and applied at the right time, a fog seal can be a valuable aid in the maintenance of an asphalt pavement. The question is, what is the proper application and when is the right time to use fog seals in a pavement maintenance program?
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Don and Pearl Sallows: Logan Quarry Pioneers

Posted by Rose Ann Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

Don Sallows was a third generation Californian who began work as a switch engine operator at Granite Rock Company’s Logan Quarry in 1922. His grandparents, John and Mary Sallows, arrived from Liverpool, England in 1866 and settled in Santa Clara, where John found work driving a team of horses, the 19th century version of “truck driver”.  Don’s father, Arthur, was born in 1873 in Santa Clara and made his living at a local lumber mill.
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