Record Attendance Highlights 9th Annual Meeting in Austin
Pictured above: AMAP members gathered to congratulate Dr. Thomas Kennedy on his Hall of Fame induction.
Trading the winter blahs for some warm Texas sunshine, a record 150 attendees turned out for AMAP’s 9th annual meeting, held Feb. 11-13 at the beautiful Omni Austin Hotel Downtown.
As in years past, the event featured a broad-based group of presenters from government and industry, which included representatives from the Asphalt Institute, the National Pavement Association, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Center for Asphalt Technology, and the Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Utah Departments of Transportation. Pete Rahn, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, delivered the keynote address, and a number of case studies highlighting topics such as cost-effective paving solutions for municipalities, modified asphalt use in the southeast region and the individual contractor’s experience with modified asphalt were presented.
The meeting was capped off by a special banquet honoring Dr. Thomas W. Kennedy, former Engineering Foundation Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, as the first member of AMAP’s new Paving Industry Hall of Fame. We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to recognize Dr. Kennedy for his efforts in the development and implementation of the Strategic Highway Research Program and for his leadership in the formation of the Superpave (Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements) System. Dr. Kennedy was recognized with a plaque commemorating his work and a number of emotional tributes from his AMAP colleagues. It was a wonderful evening, and we hope those who had the pleasure of being there enjoyed it.
During the meeting, AMAP also announced its new officers and board members for 2008-2009. New board members include: Kevin Carlson of Jebro, Inc. who was appointed as a producer member; Ed Myatt of Dexco Polymers LP and Jean Valery-Martin of Innophos, Inc., who were appointed as supplier members; and Laurand Lewandowski of PRI Asphalt Technologies, who was appointed as an associate member. Officers for 2008-2009 are: Ron Corun of NuStar Asphalt Refining Company, who will remain president for the second year of his two-year term; Gaylon Baumgardener of Ergon Asphalts, who will continue as Vice-President; Kathy Sokol of ExxonMobil, who was named Secretary; and Jim Sattler of Momentum Technologies, who was named Treasurer.
This year’s event was a huge success, and special thanks go out to the members of AMAP’s program committee for their hard work in planning the event. We also thank our speakers for their willingness to present. Please remember to mark your calendars for out next annual meeting which is set for Feb. 9-11, 2009 in beautiful Sedona, Ariz. at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa. We hope you can be there!
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Message from the Executive Director
Like so many others, I am finding some of the current political rhetoric absolutely bizarre. While the country is anxious about escalating prices on food, fuel and essentials, the presidential candidates are reluctant to mention the word recession. They have many common answers to the economic problems. And one that we continue to hear about is the need for a moratorium on fuel taxes.
I wonder if they can envision how even a short term moratorium on gasoline taxes, as suggested by two candidates (one each from both parties) and hinted at by the other, is going to help the declining economic situation? Apparently, they believe that taking away the federal and state taxes that presently go to fund our highway programs will allow consumers to buy gasoline for less, and everyone will be satisfied. Not quite!
Every year, the U.S. consumes approximately 146 billion gallons of gasoline. The average fuel tax in the U.S. is about $0.48 per gallon. The fuel tax contribution for construction and maintenance in a year, at these figures, is over 70 billion dollars. Even with a limited roll-back of fuel taxes for six months or so, and the consequential reduction of highway projects, it will only be a matter of time until some of our roadways deteriorate to the point they are impassible.
Without preventative maintenance, reconstruction, and even pothole maintenance, a large number of roadways could become obsolete in one to three years. Further, if the states run out of money due to a lack of federal matching funds, those who were initially rejoicing in the slightly lower gasoline taxes would soon be furious over the conditions of the roads. Highway travel would become a dangerous adventure. The trucking industry would also suffer grave and severe losses if the roadways deteriorated to the point that the delivery of goods was late, broken, or in the case of perishables, rotten.
We cannot accept poorly maintained highways. The nation’s dependence on our transportation system of roadways will not tolerate unimproved highways. We expect and demand better roadways. But, for some reason, the public has trouble seeing that two plus two equals four. The politicians need to understand that even when crude prices are well over $100 per barrel, we cannot stop the fuel tax even for six months.
Instead of increasing the federal fuel tax as needed, we now have to defend the tax funding we currently have to uninformed politicians. The fact is that we have had no federal fuel tax increases for the past 15 years. And, when we are able to get a transportation bill passed (SAFETEA-LU), it carries so many earmarks (6000+) that, according to a recent article in Better Roads Magazine, “media critics equate highway spending with pork barreling rather than infrastructure investment”.
Unless we can find a way to educate legislators and the public that better roads mean higher fuel taxes, the outlook for public acceptance of increasing the fuel tax is not good at all. Either the taxpayers will see the need for fuel taxes as they dodge potholes and broken pavements, or we find a way to educate the taxpayer without having to let our roads go to seed.
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Committee Chair Update
Stay informed regarding the latest committee activities with reports from our various committee chairs:
Education Committee chair Bob Kluttz reports that his committee has been invited to present one or two sessions at the next annual meeting of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), which is set for July 28-30 in Colorado Springs, Colo. In preparation for the event, the committee is developing a shortened version of AMAP’s current training course that will also be suitable for additional venues where presentation times are limited.
Public Relations Committee chair Al Meitl notes that PR efforts with St. Louis-based firm, The Hauser Group, continue. Upcoming activities include press releases highlighting AMAP’s training sessions and/ or a release highlighting the new Members Only forum on the website. The firm will also be helping to update AMAP’s current trade show display board with the goal of making it a full-size, floor-standing display. As always, members are encouraged to share any newsworthy information that can be used in future newsletters or publicized to asphalt trade media. Just contact Shelene Treptow at (314) 436-9090 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Your feedback is important to us!
Ken Grzybowski reports that the Technical Committee met during the annual meeting in February to identify and outline technical areas of evolving importance to AMAP. Three prime areas were identified for future association involvement. These are: the impact of Recycled Asphalt Product on HMAs made with modified binders; the impact of the evolving MSCR testing procedure on modified binders, and the effects that warm asphalt technologies may have on modified binders. Designated committee members are tracking these technical areas and will work to develop recommendations for active association involvement.
Kevin Carlson from the Website Committee reports that the Member’s Only forum on the AMAP website is up and running. To enter, AMAP members just have to click on the “members” tab on the homepage and login using their username and password. From there, just a click on the “members forum” link will give members access to the forum. Kevin also notes that work to improve AMAP’s ranking on the major internet search engines is underway, and based on the modifications that have been made, AMAP’s ranking on Google has risen from 157th to 15th when “AMAP” is entered as a keyword. Kevin encourages all AMAP member companies to add links to the AMAP website on their company sites to help further improve AMAP’s ranking among the various search engines.
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Word on the Street
NuStar Energy L.P. recently completed its acquisition of CITGO Asphalt Refining Company’s operations and assets for $450 million. The partnership gives NuStar the capacity to produce and market over 36 million barrels of asphalt and light products, and makes the company one of nation’s largest asphalt refiners and marketers. Assets acquired by NuStar as part of the acquisition include a 74,000 barrel-per-day asphalt refinery in Paulsboro, N.J. and a 30,000 barrel-per-day asphalt refinery in Savannah, Ga.
Momentum Technologies recently announced that James E. Nevin has assumed duties as Director of Product and Market Development at the company. In the newly created position, Nevin will be responsible for developing proprietary products and technologies based on a variety of raw materials currently marketed by Momentum. Nevin will also be tasked with expanding Momentum’s consulting role in asphalt, coatings and adhesives and will be seeking new suppliers to complement the company’s current list of distribution clients. Prior to joining Momentum, Nevin was Vice-President of Operations for Surface Chemists of Florida, Inc.
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Asphalt Institute Follow-up Study Determines Calibration Factors for PMA Mixtures
AMAP is pleased to announce that the Asphalt Institute has completed its work on a follow-up study designed to determine specific calibration factors for polymer-modified asphalts.
The study, which was funded by AMAP, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Asphalt Institute members: Dexco Polymers LP, Dynasol LLC, Kraton Polymers, LCY Elastomers LP and Ultrapave Corporation, got underway in late 2006 in response to an initial study conducted by the Affiliate Committee of the Asphalt Institute in 2005. The initial study proved that polymer-modified asphalt reduced pavement distress and extended the service life of flexible pavements and overlays, but did not determine specific calibration factors for predicting the distresses of PMA mixtures.
The latest study, named ER-235, details calibration factors for polymer-modified asphalts using mechanistic-empirical-based design methods that can better predict the performance of modified asphalt based on geographic location. The new calibration factors will replace old factors which are based on neat, unmodified asphalt binders and tend to under-predict performance and service life.
The complete study results have been finalized and will be available for review and purchase from the Asphalt Institute by June 1. In the coming months, AMAP will also be providing copies of the study results to the FHWA for use in its training on the use of the new Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG), which will be used by all 50 states to design and determine the thickness of U.S. highways. The study results will be distributed as handouts with the goal of ensuring that the MEPDG recognizes the benefits of modified asphalts during the design process.
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AMAP Honors: Dave Jones
AMAP is proud of the many accomplishments of its diverse membership, and in this issue of AMAP News, we are paying tribute to a dear friend and asphalt industry pioneer whose life was tragically cut short earlier this year.
In late March, we said goodbye to former Owens Corning Program Manager Dave R. Jones, IV. The avid fisherman and all-around outdoorsman suffered a fatal heart attack while cruising in his boat during a day-long fishing excursion on March 28, and we were all shocked to learn that the trip would be the last Dave would take.
Having playfully proclaimed himself the “Master of the Asphalt Universe,” Dave earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and held a Ph.D from the University of Missouri – Columbia. His impressive resume included time at Owens Corning, where he spent time at the start and end of his career, at Akzo-Nobel and as Vice President of PRI Asphalt Technologies. But, perhaps his greatest contribution to the asphalt industry came during the early 90’s when he served as the principal chemist on the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).
“His work with SHRP was instrumental in demonstrating how the performance of asphalt materials could be tested scientifically,” said Henry Romagosa, Market Development Manager of ICL Performance Products LP. “He really brought science into the mix at a time when it wasn’t being well-utilized by the asphalt industry.”
In his most recent role as Program Manager at Owens Corning, Dave served as the technical interface between Owens Corning and the entire asphalt industry. His work required him to stay up-to-date on technical developments going on in the industry and provide expert technical support to the company and the industry through his participation in expert task groups, attendance at the Petersen Asphalt Research Conference, and his positions on the Transportation Research Board, the Association of Asphalt Pavement Technologists and the Asphalt Institute’s Roofing Technical Advisory Committee.
Dave was also a dedicated friend and supporter of AMAP, having taught at the AMAP Modified Asphalt Workshop and spoken at many AMAP meetings.
“Dave was a great communicator and teacher who had a knack for explaining difficult subject matter and making it easy to understand,” said John Casola, Product Sales Manager, Malvern Instruments, Inc. “You really felt smarter when you were around him.”
And while Dave was deeply passionate about his professional life, his friends also remember him as a man who was equally as passionate about the time he spent outside of work. In addition to his love for hunting, fishing and the great outdoors, Dave also had a love for enjoying the finer things in life, and was known for seeking out the best restaurants, coffees and wines and introducing them to his friends.
“Dave would invite 10-14 of us out to dinner to his favorite places, and it was always a great time,” added Casola. “We’d share food and debate about which wines would work best with the meal.”
Dave’s friends note that he relished a good debate and would discuss anything from politics to fishing to wine, but he always stood firm in his beliefs.
“Debates with Dave could go for hours,” said Bob Berkley, Executive Director of AMAP. “He admired opposing viewpoints and respected your right to have an opinion but would always let you know that he was right!”
Dave is survived by his loving wife Sue Ann, his two children Sam and Regan, and countless friends and colleagues who continue to mourn his passing but are comforted by the memory of his passionate spirit, zest for the finer things in life and the incredible career legacy he left behind.
“Dave was an all-around great guy who was well-liked by everyone,” noted Casola. “He is, and will continue to be, greatly missed by the asphalt industry and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
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AMAP Welcomes Five New Members
We are pleased to announce that Asphalt Refining & Technology Company, Dynasol LLC, Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, Oldcastle Materials and Shell Oil Company have recently joined our distinguished list of member companies.
Based just outside Atlanta in Douglasville, Ga., Asphalt Refining & Technology Company is an independent supplier of liquid asphalts for the paving and roofing industries. The company serves regional roofing and asphalt paving markets located throughout the Southeast and Midwest regions of the U.S.
Located in Houston, Texas, Dynasol, LLC is a worldwide leader in the production of a wide range of styrene-butadiene copolymers including SEBS, SBS linear and radial and solution SBR, commercialized under the trade names Solprene® and Calprene®.
Based in La Brea, Trinidad, West Indies, Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago Limited is a global organization involved in the mining, refining, manufacture and distribution of high quality road building materials and other related asphalt products.
With more than 25,000 employees in 41 states, Oldcastle Materials is a vertically-integrated supplier of aggregates, asphalt, ready mix concrete and construction and paving services in the U.S. The company has divisions across the U.S. in the Southern, Central/Mid-Atlantic, New England, New York/New Jersey and Western regions of the country.
Shell Oil Company, based in Houston, Texas, is an affiliate of the Shell Royal Dutch Group, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, active in more than 130 countries and territories and employing 108,000 people worldwide. Shell Oil is one of the leading oil and natural gas producers, oil and natural gas marketers and petrochemical manufacturers in America. The company is also one of the largest producers in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and a recognized leader in oil and gas exploration technology.
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Our President’s View
As the cost of raw asphalt materials continues to skyrocket, many contractors and state agencies are pushing for the increased use of Recycled Asphalt Product (RAP) in asphalt mixes in an effort to reduce cost.
While RAP can definitely serve as a cost-effective option, concerns exist regarding its effectiveness when used with asphalt mixes that contain certain modifiers. These concerns have been so strong that many states have even placed limits on the amount of RAP that can be used with modified asphalt mixes because of fears that RAP will dilute the modifiers and make them ineffective.
In an effort to help bring resolution to this issue, AMAP is currently developing a research statement that it plans to bring to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation (AASHTO) subcommittee this summer, which will highlight the need for a research project designed to determine how RAP can be used in modified asphalts without sacrificing performance.
Our hope is that the National Cooperative Highway Research Program will agree to take on this project and bring final resolution to this issue. If research indicates how RAP can be used in modified asphalt mixes without rendering negative effects on the performance, it could serve as a key factor in reducing the rising costs of raw materials and making modified asphalt an even more affordable paving option.
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