Nationwide cement shortage could delay local road projects

It might take longer than normal for those pesky orange cones to go away. A nationwide cement shortage is slowing down projects in the region

Cement being poured at the site of the old K-Mart in Fargo on Wednesday, Aug. 3.
Finn Harrison / WDAY News
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FARGO — Cement is joining the many things in life going through a supply shortage.

The experts WDAY News spoke to said it started early this year in southern states, when cement saw a sharp increase in demand. They are also blaming imports of cement dropping off dramatically.

The shortage is affecting projects at Quality Concrete in south Fargo.

"Traditionally, concrete is fairly easy to line up on a project," Althoff said. "As easy as the day before you schedule your pour."

Quality Concrete mainly does residential and commercial projects. What is normally an easy-to-schedule task stayed difficult for this entire construction season.


"Cancel pours, move them back, the schedule just kind of keeps walking in the wrong direction," Althoff said.

Dave Grausam, vice president of Kost Materials, says we can expect some of those orange cones to stick around. He is expecting concrete-related projects in places like Interstate 29 and FM Diversion to take a little longer.

"There will be delays," Grausam said. "It will get done, but there will be delays."

Kost stores a backup supply of cement, but are burning through it. The company's daily profit is down by about 25% according to Grausam. He expects the cement shortage to start improving in Quarter 2 2023, a little less than a year from now.

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