AMAP gears up for 10th annual conference in Sedona

Mark your calendars now to join us for our 10th annual conference, set for Feb. 9-11 in beautiful Sedona, AZ.

Being hosted at the luxurious Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa, this year's event will focus on the worldwide, growing demand for energy, oil and infrastructure materials as it relates to the use of modified asphalt. Industry experts will discuss the causes and possible cures for the current shortages in raw materials and highlight what the industry can expect during 2009 and beyond.

In addition, state Department of Transportation officials will discuss their experiences with modified asphalt use in the various North American projects they've undertaken recently. Representatives from the Federal Highway Administration will also be on hand to provide updates on what's new in asphalt research and technology.

As always, the conference also provides excellent opportunities for networking with leaders in the asphalt industry. And with Sedona, AZ having been named "the most beautiful place in America" by USA Today, you may want to stay for a couple extra days and take in all the area has to offer, from its golf courses and hiking and mountain bike trails to its fine selection of shops, art galleries and restaurants.

This is an event that you won't want to miss, so be sure to sign up early to reserve your spot. Hotel reservations can be made now by calling the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa at (877) 273-3762. Room rates will be discounted for attendees. Just mention that you are staying with AMAP. You can also make reservations online by visiting AMAP's website at and clicking on the "Annual Conference" link on the homepage. For further information, please call Bob Berkley at (314) 843-2627 or send an e-mail to We hope to see you there!

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Message from the Executive Director

November 24, 2008

Dear President Elect Obama:

With the election finally over and your thoughts going from campaigning to executive issues, it is clear that you, as well as the entire nation, are aware of the seriousness of the existing recession. We know that you are working very hard already on ways to put this country back to work.

We suggest that the first thing you do after being inaugurated is to push through Congress a bill that will increase the fuel tax by $0.25 per gallon, with all of those moneys being allocated for the single purpose of constructing, rebuilding and maintaining our currently deteriorating highway system. These moneys should be in addition to the fuel tax already in place, which currently averages about $0.48 per gallon, and in addition to the $175 billion+ infrastructure stimulus package you have proposed.

We applaud your proposed stimulus package, but we feel the fuel tax increase is needed because it is a permanent increase and therefore produces permanent jobs.

To make this work, we suggest that you establish a committee of highly reputable and experienced highway and industry officials. One suggestion would be that the committee be composed of 12 State Highway Directors chosen by highway paving industry associations such as the Association of Modified Asphalt Producers, the Portland Cement Association, and the National Asphalt Paving Association, to name just a few, along with 6 engineers from the Federal Highway Administration chosen by the Secretary of Transportation and 6 representatives from the aforementioned industry associations. This group, formed with the mission of avoiding bias and doing what is best for the country, would direct the proper expenditures of the money. This is important in order to eliminate the pork barreling and cronyism from Congress. Congress should have no involvement in the selection of the committee members. In fact, they should be kept out of the decision making process all together. Then, take this to the people, explaining clearly the benefits from this program.

We know that an additional $0.25 is an increase of over 50%, and we know you and your opponent have both said you would not raise taxes, but Mr. President Elect, this is something we feel you must do.

Here are the reasons why:

A dramatic increase in highway construction would immediately add jobs, because the states already have engineered plans approved for infrastructure projects; they just haven't had the money to build them. There are hundreds of projects which have been held over from 2007 and 2008 due to a lack of funds to complete them. Those highway projects are ready for bidding and can be let within 90 days.

These are high paying jobs--jobs that will grow the economy in your first 100 days. New jobs such as these will help bring an end to the recession. And not all the jobs will be related to the construction project itself. Construction creates jobs in many manufacturing and service areas. With a sudden increase in jobs, additional heavy equipment will need to be manufactured, more trucks will be purchased and drivers hired, and construction material suppliers and service companies will increase their staff. Construction jobs are not biased towards gender or race. Our construction unions are equipped and ready to train new employees. This is one area where the "trickle-down" effect has been proven to work.

How will the public take this increase? In the past six months, the public has seen vacillating fuel prices rise and fall by numbers far greater than this increase. For instance, just last August, gasoline in St. Louis, MO was selling for nearly $4.00 per gallon. Today, gasoline is selling for $1.49 per gallon. A $0.25 increase in fuel to get the economy going would, in our opinion, not be unacceptable to an educated, responsible and thinking public, especially given the poor conditions of our highways and bridges and the economic conditions with which we are struggling.

Let us assure you sir, that the public will accept this "back-to-work" tax increase with much less furor than the financial institution and corporate "bailouts" you and your presidential opponent have supported.

Robert W. Berkley
Executive Director
Association of Modified Asphalt Producers

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Word on the Street

The 2009 edition of the AASHTO book of Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials & Methods will include the addition of Table 3 for the M-320 specification for Superpave. Table 3 uses the Multiple Stress Creep Recovery (MSCR) test to characterize asphalt binder high temperature properties at environmental use temperatures. The table also addresses grade-bumping procedures when tested at environmental use temperatures. An on-demand presentation by John D'Angelo, of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Pavement Technology, which explains the MSCR test and its implications and use, can be viewed online at:

This summer, AMAP worked to address the growing concerns over the availability of Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) by organizing a committee to study the issues surrounding SBS supply and issuing a white paper outlining its findings. The committee's research determined that the shortage of SBS could be traced to an overall shortage of the monomer Butadiene. This fall, however, global developments associated with the production of Butadiene changed the short-term outlook for SBS supply, prompting AMAP to issue an update to its initial white paper. The updated document highlights a number of factors that the committee anticipates will give SBS producers greater access to Butadiene in the coming months and an increased ability to build Butadiene inventory in anticipation of the 2009 paving season. To view the updated white paper, visit AMAP's website at

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Committee Chair Update

Stay informed regarding the latest committee activities with reports from our various committee chairs:

Website Committee chair Kevin Carlson reports that the AMAP website is undergoing an overhaul to improve its stability and security. A number of new features are being added as well. Visitors to the site will already notice a link to register online for the annual meeting. Other new features in the works include an online payment option for annual meeting registration fees, a page listing AMAP's position statements and a new page highlighting the AMAP educational program.

John Casola reports that the Program Committee is gearing up for the technical program portion of AMAP's upcoming annual conference in Sedona, AZ. As in years past, the program will address the most important issues concerning the asphalt industry. Speakers will discuss a number of key topics, including the art of doing business in the current economic climate and future challenges facing the asphalt industry. Speakers will also provide insight on global supply perspectives affecting the U.S. market, summarize active research projects underway and provide specification updates. There will also be technical sessions by users and producers and an interactive panel discussion featuring the key decision makers who are driving the asphalt industry. This year's technical meeting will also mark a significant milestone in AMAP's history, with the organization celebrating its 10th anniversary and a decade of serving as the single most comprehensive clearinghouse of modified asphalt technology available.

Laurand Lewandowski reports that the Technical Committee, in conjunction with various AMAP member companies, has been actively involved in several areas of evolving importance to the association. Members of the Technical Committee recently drafted a research needs statement titled, "Optimization of RAP Use with Polymer Modified Asphalt Mix Designs". The statement was presented at the summer AMAP board meeting and accepted for submission to appropriate parties. Another area of concern for our member companies was the use of MSCR with respect to polymer-modified asphalt mix designs. In response to these concerns, several individuals from our member companies participated in an inter-laboratory study on MSCR sponsored by the Asphalt Institute. The results of this study will be presented at future industry meetings. The Technical Committee has also recently gotten involved in the development of performance-based specifications for asphalt emulsions, with a focus on polymer-modified asphalt emulsions. The goal of this work is to develop a uniform performance-based specification which uses Superpave protocol to evaluate asphalt emulsion residues.

Education Committee chair Bob Kluttz reports that his committee has developed three versions of the AMAP training course, ranging in length from 30 minutes to a half-day. Bob also notes that plans are in the works to present the training course at AMAP's annual meeting this Feburary, at the 2009 World of Asphalt Conference which will be held March 9-12 in Orlando, Fla., and at several upcoming user-producer group meetings.

Public Relations Committee chair Al Meitl notes that AMAP will soon have a new trade show display board. AMAP is currently working with Skyline Graphics to produce the full-size, 10-foot by 10-foot floor-standing display which should be complete later this fall. In addition, PR efforts with St. Louis-based firm, The Hauser Group continue. The firm recently assisted with the development of a bylined article for the Oct. 13 issue of Midwest Contractor magazine highlighting why now is the time to use modified asphalt. The article can be viewed online at: 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 by e-mail at Your feedback is important to us!

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AMAP Honors: Pete Grass

In this issue of AMAP News, we continue our efforts to pay tribute to individuals whose efforts are advancing the asphalt industry by recognizing Pete Grass, President of the Asphalt Institute (AI).

In his current role, Pete oversees a staff of over 30 employees at the AI headquarters in Lexington, Ky. His work is focused on helping the association promote the use of asphalt through environmental, engineering and technical stewardship and continue to serve as the focal point for the applications of new binder technology and establishment of improved performance standards.

Prior to joining the Asphalt Institute in July 2001, Pete spent 21 years working with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers where his work focused on infrastructure planning, design and construction activities. His career with the Corps took him across the United States and Europe, including three stints living in Germany, and time in Atlanta, Ga.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Kansas City, Kan.; San Francisco, Calif.; and Savannah Ga. Highlights of his time with the Corps include his work building an airfield in Kuwait and the time he spent at the Pentagon and Capital Hill making senators and congressman aware of construction projects slated for their areas.

"My role with the Corps was really focused on coalition building and determining how to best serve the public interest," said Grass. "That really prepared me for my work with Asphalt Institute where I'm called upon daily to handle strategic issues and solve complex problems to better serve the asphalt industry."

Now seven years into his career with AI, Pete notes that education delivery continues to be one of the major issues that AI works tirelessly to address. "Unfortunately, there's little education provided at the university level on topics such as pavement and mix design and proper selection and use of liquid asphalt products by engineers, so the responsibility of keeping the industry up-to-speed on the latest developments in these areas is embraced by AI," notes Grass. "Our industry is constantly changing and evolving, and as a result, AI is always working to develop new and more efficient ways to train and educate those working in the industry."

AI spearheads numerous research projects and utilizes a combination of speaking engagements and training courses to keep the industry updated on the latest educational developments in the industry. Among the research projects currently being conducted by AI is the Federal NCHRP 9-47 research project designed to evaluate the environmental benefits of warm-mix asphalt and its ability to deliver quality pavements for agencies.

"Warm-mix asphalt allows the producers of asphalt pavement material to lower the temperatures at which the material is mixed and placed on the road by approximately 50 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit," said Grass. "These lower production temperatures clearly reduce energy consumption and have the potential to reduce the production of emissions and greenhouse gasses, so we're taking a close look at this technology to see if it might be a viable paving solution for the future."

Pete notes that AI is also collaborating with AMAP, the Transportation Research Board, the Federal Highway Administration, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and AMAP member companies ICL Performance Products LP and Innophos, Inc. to co-host a workshop on the Polyphosphoric Acid (PPA) modification of asphalt binders. The workshop, scheduled for April 7-9, 2009 at the Airport Hilton in Minneapolis, Minn., will highlight current research on PPA modification and the ways in which it may positively impact pavement performance.

"We're excited about this event because it's one of the first being held to discuss PPA asphalt modification," said Grass.

AI also participates in many of the major asphalt-related conferences held each year in the U.S. In the coming weeks and months, AI will host training sessions as part of the National Pavement Expo West in Las Vegas this month, the National Pavement Expo in Charlotte, N.C. in February and at the upcoming World of Asphalt event in Orlando, Fla., in March, to name a few.

In 2009, AI will celebrate its 90th anniversary, and with membership currently at an all-time high of 97 members, the organization is thriving under Pete's leadership.

"As I look back at my career, I think my greatest achievement has been my ability to deliver leadership," said Grass. "Today, my exceptional staff makes work a joy. They embrace change and work hard to deliver cutting edge solutions that benefit our entire industry. Likewise, our members are essential for our success. I'm extremely fortunate to have the pleasure of working one-on-one, each day, with this group of highly-skilled, consummate professionals who are at the top of their game."

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New FHWA course to highlight use of local calibrations in highway design

With introductory training on the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) now complete in all 50 states, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is making plans to host a special one-day workshop focused on local calibration of the MEPDG that will address modified binders.

The one-day course will draw from the results of a study released this summer by the Asphalt Institute, which detailed calibration factors for polymer-modified asphalts using mechanistic-empirical-based design methods that could better predict the performance of modified asphalt based on geographic location. The new factors have replaced old factors which were based on neat, unmodified asphalt binders and tend to under-predict performance and service life.

The one-day workshop is free and will be held in multiple locations across the country during the spring of 2009. Those interested in participating can contact John D'Angelo, Materials Engineer in the FHWA's Office of Pavement Technology at (202) 366-0121 or john.d'

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AMAP needs you

As our distinguished list of member companies continues to grow, AMAP invites you to explore the many benefits and opportunities that AMAP membership can provide to your organization.

We welcome members from research organizations, polymer production companies, asphalt production companies, governmental agencies and contractors who share our dedication to the development, production and use of modified asphalts and our vision of the enhanced and more cost-effective transportation pavements modified asphalt can provide.

We strive to provide value to our members in numerous ways, including:

Serving as a credible industry voice to inform and educate end users about the features, functions and benefits of modified asphalt binders

Offering a clearinghouse of information relevant to the use and performance of modified asphalt binders that allows for more informed systems choices

Presenting a unified network of industry leaders who lend credibility and data in support of efforts to provide modified binder options to skeptical end-users and specifying agencies

Providing timely updates on legislative and technology changes at the federal and state level that may impact our membership

Serving as a unified voice in shaping legislation, policy and technical protocols at the federal and state level as they relate the use of modified asphalt

If your company is not yet an AMAP member, we highly encourage you to get involved. For more information on AMAP, or to learn how your company can become a member, contact Jeanne Kendrick, Chair of AMAP's Membership Committee, at (284) 744-7582.

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Our President's View

The modified asphalt industry has been buzzing recently following news of a global shortage of styrene-butadiene polymers. As a result, many state agencies have expressed concerns over their ability to continue using modified asphalts.

In these trying times, however, a combination of flexibility and good engineering decisions on the part of our state agencies can help them cope with the shortage of SBS polymer without sacrificing the pavement performance benefits offered by the use of modified asphalt.

A number of modifiers can serve as alternatives to SBS polymers or help extend SBS supply, and can be incorporated with simple specification changes. These alternatives include SBR Latex; Reacted Ethylene Terpolymer (Elvaloy); Ethyl Vinyl Acetate, which can be used alone successfully as a modifier in warm climates or blended with SBS to provide reasonable cracking performance in cold weather; Ground Tire Rubber (GTR); Hybrid Binders, which allow SBS to be blended with GTR to produce cross-linked storage-stable polymer-modified asphalt; and Polyphosphoric Acid (PPA), which has been used successfully as a co-modifier/extender in conjunction with SBS polymer.

As the paving industry continues to struggle with the issues surrounding the current shortage of SBS polymer, AMAP encourages our state agencies to explore these alternatives so they can continue reaping the many benefits that modified asphalts have to offer.

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AMAP gears up for 10th annual conference in Sedona

Message from the Executive Director

Word on the Street

Committee Chair Update

AMAP Honors: Pete Grass

New FHWA course to highlight use of local calibrations in highway design

AMAP needs you

Our President's View


  • Alberty Additives
  • ARR MAZ Custom Chemicals
  • Asphalt Refining & Technology Company
  • Better Roads Magazine
  • Bitumar, Inc.
  • Blacklidge Emulsions, Inc.
  • BP Bitumen
  • BWS Technologie GmbH
  • ChevronTexaco
  • CITGO Asphalt Refining Company
  • ConocoPhillips Company
  • Construction Resources Management
  • Dalworth Machine Products, Inc.
  • Dexco Polymers LP
  • DuPont
  • Dynasol LLC
  • ECF, Inc.
  • Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions
  • Ergon Asphalts, Inc.
  • ExxonMobil
  • Hudson Liquid Asphalts
  • ICL Performance
  • Innophos, Inc.
  • Irving Oil Limited, Refinery Div.
  • Jebro Incorporated
  • Kraton Polymers
  • Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago Limited
  • Malvern Instruments, Inc.
  • Mariani Asphalt Co.
  • McConnaughay Technologies
  • Midwest Industrial Fuels
  • Momentum Technologies, Inc.
  • Oldcastle Materials
  • PRI Asphalt Technologies, Inc.
  • Reichel & Drews Inc.
  • Shell Oil Company
  • Sinopec Asphalt Sales Co.
  • Suit-Kote
  • Sunoco, Inc.
  • Ultrapave Corporation
  • Valero Energy Company
  • Warden Modified Asphalt, LP
  • Wright Asphalt Products Company