Seeing Your Tax Dollars at Work with Martin Marietta

(7-10-16)

Sarah MacQuiddy, The Tribune
Greeley Chamber of Commerce President
Read the entire article.

I’m so excited to tell you about my first “On assignment with the Chamber President!”

Thank you to our friends at Martin Marietta, who graciously agreed to let me learn first-hand about their company. I chose Martin Marietta as my first assignment to see how our local tax dollars are working. I was curious how things were going since last November, when Greeley voters overwhelming supported the 2A and 2B tax measures to help improve our local roads.

The day included watching the recipes for ready mix concrete and asphalt. Did you know that they are blended according to customer contract specifications? Once the ready mix was tested, we drove the mixer truck to a site at 8th Avenue and 12th Street. I have always wondered how long the “mix” is good as it travels down the road. Ninety minutes in the drum is the answer. My guess is that if something were to happen, a mighty fine boat anchor for an ocean freight-liner would result.

Heading over in the mixer truck to the site, I watched the driver use the remote control for the mixer with which he has the ability to slow or speed up the rotation. He not only has to have a CDL, but also needs to know about operating the computer. The mixer truck poured concrete at 8th Avenue and 12th Street; I noted how carefully the driver backed up the truck to assure that the ready mix was properly placed to avoid waste and to help those spreading, leveling and smoothing — not just dumping it in a pile.

While we were there, I had the opportunity to see a “tug-at-your-heart-strings” incident. Two visually impaired individuals were walking down the sidewalk and came upon the construction. Quickly, one of the Martin Marietta crew saw them and escorted them around the construction work area and safely down the sidewalk. That speaks volumes to the corporate culture that exists at Martin Marietta — do what needs to be done to keep everyone safe.

There are more than 80 projects sourced out of the Greeley Plant — from driveways to improvements along 8th Avenue, the city of Greeley overlay and patching contracts, 20th Street rehab and resurfacing 10 miles of Colo. 392 east of Lucerne.

The asphalt work on Colo. 392 — let me say — is one hot job. The belly dump truck drops a load that is about 300 degrees. I gained a whole new understanding and appreciation for the road crews. Standing in the middle of the highway with traffic (from cars to semis) whizzing by gives one a real appreciation to the campaign of “Give ’em a Brake!”

I hadn’t thought about Martin Marietta being big in the recycling arena; how wrong I was. The asphalt they pulled up gets ground up and used for shoulder work as well as being reintroduced into the new asphalt that is being placed. That’s a much better use than to send it to the landfill. The plant location on 35th Avenue is clean and well maintained. In two years, that site will probably be reclaimed and will most likely become water retention ponds.

Martin Marietta took ownership of the plant from Lafarge in 2011; they have been good community partners and awarded national recognition for their environmental efforts. They’ve also been accident free for 20 years. Safety, product quality and customer service are their top priorities. They not only talk the talk — Martin Marietta also walks the walk.

Sarah MacQuiddy is the president of the Greeley Chamber of Commerce.


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