An Asphalt Plant Finds a Home

Careful planning makes good neighbors; new equipment

Article February 17, 2004
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Prospective asphalt producers from across the country are experiencing increased resistance from local governments and communities when trying to locate a hot-mix asphalt plant in their area. In most cases, the resistance is based on misperceptions and myths associated with asphalt production operations.

John Pace of Tarheel Paving Co. encountered such resistance when trying to locate an asphalt plant on the outskirts of picturesque Hendersonville, N.C., but he was prepared for the fierce and emotional opposition that awaited him. Working with an experienced plant manufacturer, air quality engineer and legal counsel, Pace persevered through the resistance whipped up by outside organizations during the county and state approval process, permitting, start-up and air quality testing.

A lifelong Hendersonville resident, Pace understands the importance of a pristine environment to the tourism that contributes to Hendersonville’s economy. He declined to be drawn into an emotional public debate that could never be won on the merits of facts alone with his neighbors, local media and outside environmental groups. Instead, he did his homework, presented the facts and laid the groundwork for the most environmentally responsible production operation possible.

Pace’s plant manufacturer, Asphalt Drum Mixers Inc. (ADM), Huntertown, Ind., backed him at every step by supplying emissions data for existing ADM plants and by attending town meetings with him to help answer questions and concerns.

Jon Patti, a sales representative for ADM, said, “We provided the documentation stating that our equipment meets or exceeds the EPA’s air quality requirements. The air quality engineer took the asphalt cement, aggregate, fuels and emissions variables and combined them with local data to create an environmental impact model that made sense to the state. The attorney was retained to ensure Pace’s building rights were protected.”

Patti is recommending these forms of representation more and more to prospective asphalt producers to facilitate the approval process.

The plant passed the state’s air quality test with emission levels lower than any seen before from an asphalt plant.
“The neighbors found out about these tests, and it makes them relax a little and makes them accept me more,” said Pace.

Finally, 10 months after Pace submitted his application, the state air quality permit was issued and Tarheel Paving’s ADM Milemaker 225 was opened for business.

The plant site selected by Tarheel lies just outside the city limits and is surrounded on three sides by industrially zoned properties. Nestled into a hollow well below the highway, not even the silos are visible to drivers passing by the plant.

Pace is investing in his property’s appearance as well as in the plant. Customers and visitors who drive around the bend and down the hill to reach Tarheel’s operation find a beautifully landscaped and clean facility. The control room and lab are housed in a new two-story block building with decorative facing and a dark green standing-seam steel roof.

The drives and parking areas are paved and striped, and the aggregate stockpile area sports a shiny asphalt surface to keep the material drained and clean. Concrete curbing surrounds islands planted with trees and shrubbery. The few neighboring residents who are able to actually see the plant from their houses—especially in the winter months when the trees are bare—see nothing resembling the eyesore that so often springs to mind when asphalt production is mentioned.

As a successful business owner and employer, Pace is making Tarheel Paving an asset in his community.

Asphalt products

The following is a sample of recent introductions of products designed for asphalt applications.

Miles of asphalt

ADM’s Milemaker asphalt plant recently passed its 12-year anniversary in production. The dual-drum, counterflow Milemaker plant is available in stationary and mobile configurations and can produce 160-425 tph. They can efficiently process high percentages of RAP and blend additives and modifiers. The separate drying and mixing drums have lengths of 40-54 ft, depending on plant size.

Asphalt cookies

The Asphalt Cookie Cutting Machine from American Highway Products Ltd., Bolivar, Ohio, eliminates jackhammers and compressors used to remove utility castings from a road. It is a heavy-duty machine that cuts a perfect circular hole around utility castings. This type of cut does not destroy the surrounding road and compaction. Round cuts reduce the amount of material removed by over 21% compared with square cuts. It also eliminates corner cuts into the existing road. The machine will make 60 cuts in an eight-hour day.

Rubble crusher

The KRH1013 concrete and asphalt rubble crushing plant from Grasan, Mansfield, Ohio, combines the features of a compact, highly mobile machine with the benefits of a hydraulically controlled primary impactor for greater control of product size and up to 20% more production than same-size impactors with standard controls. The plant sets up ready for use in 15 minutes. It is equipped with a 48-in. x 16-ft variable-control grizzly feeder. The unit is mounted on a high-strength steel chassis with triple-axle suspension.

Best served cold

The emission-free KMA 200 portable cold mixing plant from Wirtgen America Inc., Nashville, Tenn., is a recycling plant that can be delivered to a site and operates without emission permits. The KMA 200 (Circle 918) will mix 200 tph of several types of high-strength cold-mix asphalt blends. All-virgin materials can be processed using emulsions or foamed asphalt. These mixes can incorporate lime, cement, polymer additives, fly ash and other materials to enhance strength and performance.

Permeability measured

The AP-14 and AP-16 Laboratory Asphalt Permeameters utilize the falling head method to determine hydraulic conductivity of saturated 4- and 6-in.-diam. asphalt cores or laboratory-compacted specimens. The permeameters from Gilson Co. Inc., Lewis Center, Ohio, are self-contained. The asphalt sample is placed inside a metal cylinder and held in place with expanding discs. Permeability of the sample is determined by timing flow from the included 500-cc manometer through the sample.

Joint sealant

QuikSeam roll-out strip sealant is a superior alternative to conventional surface sealing, according to Quik Pave Products Inc., Cleves, Ohio. In contrast to overbanding the pavement surface at abutting pavement sections, QuikSeam seals the entire vertical interface of a full-depth joint. Such joints and seams occur when replacing sections of existing asphalt pavements. QuikSeam is a specially formulated rubberized asphalt compound possessing carefully designed melt and flow properties. Standard rolls are 8 or 9 in. wide and 50 ft long.

Impermeable joints

The Notch Wedge Joint Maker from TransTech Systems Inc., Schenectady, N.Y., is an adjustable device that mounts on the end of any paver screed to shape the edge of the mat, thereby improving the durability of the longitudinal joint. Unlike typical square butt joints, the notched wedge joint provides a clearly defined beveled edge that easily interlocks with the next adjacent lane to provide a very dense, highly impermeable closure that lasts far beyond the life of the square joint.

Beat the smell

By encapsulating the odor-causing molecules in asphalt cement, AS Cherry liquid odor suppressant from Asphalt Solutions Inc., Litchfield Park, Ariz., leaves an odorless finished product. AS Cherry (Circle 922) reduces the smell associated with asphalt in a variety of climatic conditions and mix types. It can be added to bulk carriers delivering liquid asphalt cement or at the producer level using off-the-shelf metering equipment and costs as little at three cents per ton of finished mix.

About the author: 
Information for this article was provided by Asphalt Drum Mixers Inc., Huntertown, Ind.
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