This argument has been fought for over 40 years in our state, resulting in concrete pavements which are few and far between. Florida is 98% asphalt and we needed to understand how that came to be in spite of all of our efforts.
What was found was that while our industry has never lacked for leadership, for a host of reasons, we could never mount the unwavering campaign to get over the goal line. To begin with, we wanted it both ways; we thought we could gain market share without upsetting anyone, even our competitors, in the process.
Interests from throughout the transportation industry regularly put pressure on the concrete industry when we speak up for ourselves, falsely claiming that such lack of unity can lead to diminished budgets on both the state and federal levels. Even at the beginning of this campaign, we were told we should sit and work with the asphalt industry in order to work out agreements on design specifications and life cycle requirements. We punched that ticket, so that it couldn’t be said that we weren’t willing to listen. As suspected, the meeting went nowhere and we moved forward unilaterally.
Additionally, every state faces the conflict that exists for those in our industry who have an aggregate division that sells to asphalt contractors. Further, we had an embarrassment of riches and we couldn’t mine and process enough material to keep up with construction demands. Was it really necessary to take this to the wall? Every time our industry somehow made it to third base, we would manage to get picked off trying to steal second.
If your organisation truly wants to move this needle, input about how to drive the train has to be limited to those whose interests lie solely in reaching that objective. Our Association has lost members and has had a few heated Board meetings about how aggressive our approach should be. In the end, the leadership of the FC&PA has stayed committed to the mission and that strength in unity has signaled to everyone in this process that we are a force to be reckoned with.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/23052013/effective_concrete_advocacy_part02/