GARY │ Ozinga Indiana Ready Mix Concrete on Wednesday dedicated a new 375-square-foot American flag atop a 70-foot aluminum flagpole originally built to be used at the London Olympics.
The flagpole, which was commissioned for the Olympics but ended up not being used, is secured in 9.5 cubic yards of concrete — enough to pour a sidewalk the length of a football field.
The flag-dedication ceremony coincides with completed construction of Ozinga’s newest compressed natural gas fueling station. Featuring public and private fueling areas, Ozinga’s CNG station in Gary will accommodate the location’s CNG-powered concrete trucks as well as CNG vehicles from neighboring fleets and businesses.
"It’s a very American fuel, and we’re an American family business so it felt right,” Ozinga spokesman Tim Ozinga said of the flag dedication. “We really wanted to commemorate that in a really solid way. We decided that putting a flag up that was very noticeable would be great way to demonstrate that pride. We’re proud to give it a home here.”
Ozinga said the company has ordered two more of the Olympics-commissioned flagpoles and plan to install them at its locations in Mokena and Des Plaines.
Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete bought its first CNG truck in 2011 after deciding to move away from diesel, which was becoming a lot more maintenance intensive and hit with more stringent emissions standards.
“They’re cleaner burning and and more cost-effective,” Ozinga said. “All around it just made a lot of sense.”
Ozinga said its goal is to transition its entire fleet of 500 trucks and support vehicles to CNG by 2020.
“We currently have 112 CNG concrete mixers that are in operation between our four locations,” he said.
Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete is a finalist candidate for the Chanute Prize for Team Innovation in The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana in honor of it being one of the first in the U.S. to transition its concrete mixers and support vehicles from diesel to natural gas.