NORTH EAST, MD – Congressman Andy Harris, M.D., representing the First District of Maryland, attended and spoke at an open house event that showcased the vital crushed stone quarrying industry. Maryland Materials, Inc. and Mellott partnered to host the event at Maryland Materials’ quarry in North East, Maryland. There were over fifty people in attendance including executives from Metso and Caterpillar, leaders of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) and representatives from the construction industry and community.
The event began at 10 a.m. with a warm and welcoming speech by Maryland Materials Vice President and acting Chairman of the NSSGA, Mr. Dave Thomey. After Thomey’s remarks, Congressman Harris and guests observed how stone is mined out of the ground and then processed at the plant on site.
The guests then boarded busses and were taken to get a closer look at the heavy machinery that transports, crushes, and separates the stone to ready it for use in concrete, asphalt and other construction applications. In 2010 and in partnership with Maryland Materials, Mellott installed and now operates a state of the art plant capable of processing 1,000 tons of raw materials per hour.
After the tour and lunch, Thomey invited Congressman Harris to speak on the topic of funding of surface transportation, which is a major market for the crushed stone industry.
Congressman Harris was optimistic that there would be some funding set aside for surface transportation and related infrastructure purposes. However, under current economic conditions, he was less certain that a multi-year reauthorization bill would be possible.
He also expressed the necessity for the public sector to encourage basic industries, such as quarrying, which are the backbone of economic development.