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46 • ROCK products • March 2017 www.rockproducts.com W ith the implementation of the FAST act in full swing, and Pres- ident Trump's $1 Trillion Promise to rebuild the nation's infrastructure on the table, aggregates producers are looking ahead confidently to the 2017 production season. Aggregates produc- tion rose in 2016, and 2017 is looking like another year of strong increases. According to figures from the U.S. Geological Survey, total aggregates pro- duction in 2016 was 2.49 billion metric tons (Gt), up from 2.28 Gt in 2015. The information was reported in its 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries report. In 2016, 1.48 Gt of crushed stone valued at more than $16.2 billion was produced by 1,430 companies operating 3,700 quarries, 82 underground mines, and 187 sales and distribution yards in 50 states. This represents an increase of 11 percent compared with that of 2015. Construction sand and gravel produc- tion was about 1.01 Gt in 2016, an increase of 7 percent compared with that of 2015. Consumption of con- struction sand and gravel was higher in 2016 because of increased con- sumption during every quarter since the second quarter of 2013, with an average increase of 6 percent over the same period of the previous year. This month, we share the results of our fourth annual, exclusive Rock Products survey, Benchmark 2017. This survey not only offers the opportunity to gauge current producer opinion, we can also compare to previous years to see what is the same and what is different. So who took the survey this year? A typical survey respondent was, on aver- age, a production manager, foreman or technical superintendent (32 percent) up from 22 percent last year. Company officers, executives, owners or part- ners also took part in the survey (28 percent). Sales executives, geologists, safety directors and others also partic- ipated in the survey. What types of operations are reflected by this year's survey respondents? Benchmark 2017: An Exclusive Survey Rock Products' Annual Survey On the Opinions, Concerns and Buying Intentions of Producers Reveals What is on the Industry's Collective Mind. By Mark S. Kuhar BENCHMARK 2017 SURVEY 28.15% 31.85% 11.11% 10.37% 18.52% 0.00% Officer, Executive, Owner or Partner Production Mgr, Foreman or Technical Superintendent Sales Exec utive Department Head Other No Answer 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 35.00% What is your job title?