On June 8, 2016, MAA provided testimony to the Governor’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission regarding our concern that based on current permitted reserves we are projecting a deficit of permitted aggregate material in certain local markets in the near future (10-15 years). During our testimony, it was mentioned that expanding land development along with increased resistance from local communities have impacted the ability to access many of the aggregate reserves located across the state.
As a follow-up to our testimony, MDOT initiated an aggregate forecasting study to determine the amount of currently permitted aggregate reserves that are located across the state. Their report titled, “Michigan Aggregates Market Study – Phase I Report” was released last week.
This study evaluated the adequacy of permitted construction aggregate reserves in order to determine the amount of material that is currently available to supply the state’s long-term infrastructure needs.
Details within the report explain particular dynamics of the aggregate permitted supply that exist in different regions of the state involving the following: the quality of material in aggregate deposits and their ability to meet various specifications, their location relative to the various submarkets where construction activity is concentrated, the ratio of fine aggregates (sand) to coarse aggregates (stone) that exist in sand-and-gravel deposits, and preferences of end-users for different types of aggregate.
The conclusion of the study revealed that the concerns with the amount of permitted sand and gravel reserves are located primarily in the southern half of lower Michigan. This concern is compounded as the southeastern area already faces a 9.1-million-tpy shortfall (difference between local production and consumption) that has to be made up by material transported from outside the region. The report also revealed that the sand-and-gravel reserves, which are especially critical to the western and northern suburbs of Detroit, have dwindled to 12.7 years and that even a modest acceleration in construction activity could deplete those reserves in as little as a decade.
To view the entire MDOT “Michigan Aggregates Market Study – Phase I Report” click here.