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Illinois producers cautiously optimistic for 2022

By |  December 1, 2021
Photo:

Eichholz

Dan Eichholz, executive director of the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers, shared his 2022 outlook on the aggregate industry in Illinois in a Q&A with the magazine:

Describe the current state of the industry within your state in a word or two.

Evolving

Describe your outlook for the aggregate industry in 2022.

Somewhat optimistic

What factors are driving your outlook for 2022?

Illinois’s central location and historical investment in the four R’s of transportation infrastructure – roads, rails, runways and rivers – make us a transportation hub for America.

In 2019, Illinois reinvested in that infrastructure by passing a sustainably funded $45 billion, six-year Rebuild Illinois capital construction plan. In 2022, we will enter the construction phase for numerous major projects funded by that program. The Illinois Tollway is entering the heart of [the] 15-year Move Illinois construction program, and a major expansion of O’Hare airport will continue. Passage of federal infrastructure legislation could further enhance investment.

Pent-up demand and a recovery from the pandemic-induced recession should spur private sector construction.

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

Illinois aggregate producers should expect to see increasing demand for products in most areas of the state, as public and private construction ramps up. While the major “clean energy” law recently enacted in Illinois will likely result in higher energy costs, construction of wind and solar facilities require aggregates. The state is also vying to become an electric vehicle manufacturing hub, which could spur new construction.

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

Illinois businesses are hampered by overregulation. Attempts at the federal, state and local levels to add onerous and unnecessary regulations on aggregate producers will continue.

In addition, Illinois owns the largest public pension debt in the country, which adds pressure for increased taxes and slows economic recovery. While many areas of our state will experience increased construction activity in 2022, activity in other areas will likely remain stagnant.

Featured photo: P&Q Staff


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