Saturday, March 22, 2014

City Ready-Mix Concrete Co.

There are certain landmarks I drive past regularly, always meaning to stop and take a closer look, always meaning to find out more about what it is. The City Ready-Mix Concrete structure is one of those landmarks.

City Ready-Mix Concrete plant, 434 Harper's Ferry Road.

City Ready-Mix Concrete has been at Harper's Ferry Road since the 1950s. I haven't been able to find any information about the company, but I did solve the "mystery" of why concrete plants have towers and long conveyer belts.

City Ready-Mix Concrete plant, 434 Harper's Ferry Road.

Depending on the set-up, the long conveyer belt runs from a quarry to the processing plant. Either before or after being placed on the conveyer (from what I can tell, there are a couple of different plant types), the rocks and gravel are broken down into small bits.

The tower, better known as a silo, is used to store fine sand. The sand and the broken-up rocks from the quarry get poured into a mixer, combined with some water, and then squirted out as concrete.

High-quality concrete involves chemists monitoring the relative chlorides, sulfates, alkalis, and solids. There are a number of different recipes for making concrete. The ancient Egyptians used lime and gypsum. Today's manufacturers use materials including limestone, clay, gypsum, minerals, and various chemicals.

In modern manufacture, cement is used as the paste to hold together the bits and pieces (aggregates) of concrete. That's right: cement and concrete are two different things.

There's another abandoned concrete plant nearby, in Torrington. I've driven by it a number of times over the years, and always wondered what it was. Now I know.

Old concrete plant at a quarry on South Main Street in Torrington.

Ready-mix concrete is still in demand, and there is at least one ready-mix company still in business in Waterbury. Sega Ready Mix Concrete is in the industrial complex on Chase River Road in Waterville. Their silo and conveyor belt are visible from Route 8. If I have time this summer, I'll see if I can get a tour of their plant--and some answers to my lingering questions about how concrete is made!

Sega's conveyor and silo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I work for O&G ind in torr. your close to the whole operations part. the silo holds bins of different size stone for different mixes