How Michigan producers are situated for the coming months

By |  November 29, 2021
Doug Needham


Doug Needham, executive director of the Michigan Aggregates Association discusses the state of the aggregate industry within his state in a short Q&A with the magazine:

Describe the current state of the industry within your state in a few words.

Variable by region but showing many signs of strength

Describe your outlook for the aggregate industry in 2022.

Extremely optimistic

What factors are driving your outlook for 2022?

The state of Michigan’s plan to continue selling new transportation bonds for infrastructure construction and the rebounding of Michigan’s commercial economy after the pandemic have us feeling very optimistic about 2022.

What are the greatest opportunities available to aggregate producers within your state in 2022?

The strong commercial and residential sectors of Michigan’s economy. The Michigan Department of Transportation will sell its third bond tranche in the current plan for rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges. So far, Michigan has realized close to $2 billion in the sale of bonds, above and beyond typically appropriated road funding. The total bond program will be $3.5 billion.

What are the greatest challenges aggregate producers will face within your state in 2022?

Michigan aggregate producers have seen an increase in resistance from local communities when attempting to permit access to additional aggregate reserves. This is starting to negatively impact the statewide aggregate supply chain, causing materials to be transported from further distances [and] increasing cost pressures. As a country, we have now seen how supply chain issues cause shortages and price increases. As a state, anti-gravel activists are generating our own supply chain problems.

Michigan’s aggregate industry, and the greater construction sector as a whole, was facing a labor shortage even before the pandemic created havoc with our workforce. Additionally, with the legalization of marijuana in Michigan, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates for operating heavy equipment who are drug-free.  

Featured photo: Nikola Nastasic/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

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