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Concrete, other shortages affecting construction

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 12:17:14-04

WACO, TX — When you take look at the mixture of today's concrete shortage, you're going to find ingredients of other shortages plaguing the industry as a whole.

For some types of lumber the price is still up more than 200 percent. And, steel prices are up three times as much since the first of the year. But with concrete there's a timeline of factors worth pointing out.

K. Paul Holt, CEO and president at Central Texas Associated General Contractors, walks us down that timeline.

"Midlothian has four huge cement plants just up the road here that took out a million tons of concrete a year," said Holt. "It's not going to be operational until 2022."

Holt said demand for concrete during the winter was greater than anticipated, but the freeze in February put a stop everything.

Perhaps the surprisingly rainy season may allow plants to build back some inventory. But when looking at shortages for one item we're often times met with more shortages in a different area.

Fly ash is also one of the ingredients that is also contributing to today's climate.

"During the winter, concrete plants build up inventory," said Holt. "With the fly-ash shortage it's taking more cement to pour that concrete, it's setting up faster, and making it much more difficult."

So amid the 'honey-do' season, a time couples typically remodel or fix up their homes, the effects of the market may pour into the front yard.

"Small batch concrete is very scarce we have the I-35 project, we have the Amazon project going on," said Holt. "Huge slabs take precedence over little drive ways."

So the big question is how long until we see the market level off?

At least a year, according to Holt.

"We're hoping there's some semblance of leveling in 2022," said Holt. "That is not a prediction, it's a dream."