Saturday, November 4, 2017

"Why builders of big L.A. projects are making concrete with gravel and sand shipped from Canada"

Warren Coalson, a consultant to California mine and quarry operators, estimates it costs $220 to haul a standard 25-ton truckload on a 25-mile trip in L.A. traffic. That works out to about 35 cents per ton per mile.

In a massive oceangoing vessel, it’s dramatically cheaper: roughly half a cent per ton per mile, Polaris spokesman Nick Van Dyk said.

That leads to some striking math: To ship 1 ton of rock over 1,450 miles of ocean to Long Beach costs about $7.25. To truck it from Long Beach to downtown L.A., about 25 miles, adds an additional $8.75. And at $16 combined, that’s less than the $22.75 it might cost to truck a ton of aggregate on the 65-mile trip from a quarry in Palmdale to downtown.


It’s not that California doesn’t have enough sand and gravel. But as development has sprawled, quarries or potential quarry sites that were once in sparsely populated areas are now surrounded by people — who don’t want the attendant noise, pollution and truck traffic.