Canadian Sand in LA Highrises

Canadian Sand in LA Highrises

Article Title: Why Builders of Big L.A. Projects Are Making Concrete with Gravel and Sand Shipped from Canada

Author of Article: J. R. Koren

Date of article: November 4, 2017

Source URL: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-canadian-gravel-20171104-htmlstory.html

For construction projects in the Los Angeles area, it is now cheaper to import the gravel and sand – known as aggregate – from Canada than to ship it from local quarries.

The aggregate travels one mile on conveyor belts from a quarry in Vancouver Island to a floating terminal on the coast. Ships then carry the materials 1,450 miles away to the Port of Long Beach. The materials are transported to a terminal on a conveyor belt. From there, they will be loaded into trucks to reach the construction sites.

The transportation cost is $16 compared to the $22.75 it would cost to truck a ton of materials from a local quarry to downtown L.A. These lower transportation costs, better quality of materials, and local residents’ reluctance to have quarry-related work and traffic nearby have contributed to increasing imports despite an abundant domestic supply.

Discussion Questions
1. Why is it cheaper to import the aggregate from Canada?

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