Final Take

|  January 01, 2008 |

Field-tested
Concrete repair alternative quick solution for troops

Waiting for concrete to dry is an inevitable part of many repair jobs. But for U.S. military personnel performing infrastructure repair in Iraq and Afghanistan, an otherwise simple road repair includes standing guard until it dries – to prevent filled potholes and craters from becoming hiding place for improvised explosive devices. And so a Baltimore, Maryland-based company has enabled the military to significantly reduce hardening time from hours to minutes.

The military uses CeraTech’s Pavemend SLQ, a non-Portland, non-epoxy material that patches concrete, masonry and structural asphalt surfaces. The material is a water-activated single component powder that comes packed in 5-gallon buckets. Once activated, Pavemend SLQ becomes a slurry mix that bonds to most construction materials-including steel – with no surface preparation. Made from green – sustainable materials, the product can be applied in ambient temperatures from zero to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and has between four and six minutes of working time.

Pavement products are used for a variety of infrastructure repair applications, says Jon Hyman, CEO, CeraTech. “From U.S. Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to state DOT’s across the country, urgent infrastructure repair scenarios constantly demand one hour returns to service,” he says. Pavemend SLQ has one-hour compressive strengths exceeding 3,400 psi, enabling repairs to be reloaded by vehicles in one hour, and foot traffic in just 20 minutes.
- Amy Materson


Track your tax dollars online
FedSpending.org allows users to search, collect and analyze all federal spending for free. Users can search the contract and grant databases by agency, congressional district or recipient.

Launched by OMB Watch, a Washington-based nonprofit group that promotes open government, accountability and citizen participation, the website includes updated data for the 2007 fiscal years.

All data on FedSpending.org is collected and produced by the federal government, according to the site. Federal contract data comes from the Federal Procurement Data Center, and federal grant data comes from the Federal Assistance Award Data System, which is operated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

OMB Watch’s Executive Director Gary Bass says the site was created to allow Americans greater access to information concerning where and how their tax dollars are spent. “When you buy something at the store, you get a receipt,” says Bass. “FedSpending.org is that receipt for government spending – we can examine it and see just what kind of deal we’re getting.”

FedSpending.org presents data differently than it is shown in government databases to make the information easier to understand and access, giving citizens the necessary tools to hold the government accountable, Bass says.
- Lauren Barrera


Word for Word
“Women are finding this is a business, that it is not the boys’ club it once was. It’s a business that needs people to perform tasks, and you’re a woman who can do that task.”
– Pat A. Di Filippo, executive vice president of Turner Construction Company, to the New York Times about the city’s campaign to increase the number of female construction workers.

“This is not some bio-dome out in Arizona with guys running around in lab coats. We’re a general contractor; we’re not specialists in green technology. If we can do this, everyone can do this.”
– Nelson Ferreira, president and CEO of Ferreira Construction, to the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger about the practicality of the company’s net-zero electric headquarters.

“Any time you can construct a tower that doesn’t really look like a tower, it’s usually preferable.”
– William Jenkins, project development for CIS Communications, to the St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch about plans to construct a cell phone tower inside of a 95-foot-tall cross.

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