California Asphalt Magazine – 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

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A BIG DEAL in BIG SUR Collaboration leads to early reopening of iconic coastal Route 1 in Monterey County 2 months ahead of schedule INSIDE: VSS International, Inc. preserves Route 1 in Southern California CalAPA COVID-19 vaccine survey Member Profile: Griffith Company

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Publisher’s Letter “What does everyone else think?” This seemingly simple question is actually one of the most complex and important functions of all associations, and CalAPA is no exception. For that reason we expend a considerable amount of effort on asking our members what they think about various issues, and then sharing that information back out to the membership so everyone can benefit from the collective knowledge and insight. This information also informs our interactions with elected officials, regulators, agency personnel and others who also want to understand the asphalt pavement industry’s position on a particular topic. Constantly listening to our members happens in many ways. It could be one-on-one conversations, CalAPA policy meetings, networking events and other forums. We also utilize technology, such as web surveys, to collect opinions and insights, and then share the insights from those surveys back out to our membership. One example of this concept in practice is highlighted later in this issue. It came in the form of a very narrow survey we conducted about the COVID-19 vaccine. A concern had been raised nationally that workers in the construction industry have higher rates of vaccine hesitancy than other occupations. Public health officials say this could contribute to the continuing spread of the coronavirus and delay returning to something that more closely resembles life prior to the pandemic. To understand how that may translate to the asphalt pavement industry in California, a subset of the construction industry, our association conducted a survey in April to better understand attitudes on this issue locally. Our story in this issue, which builds on a “Member Alert” sent earlier to CalAPA members, details what we learned. Other surveys that have proven popular are our annual “Better-Worse” survey of our “Asphalt Insider” newsletter subscribers, and our periodic member service and communication surveys. Data gleaned from those surveys has informed the various iterations of our association’s strategic plan, which maps out our priorities and future direction. At the height of the pandemic, we sent out several surveys to gauge the impact COVID-19 was having on operations, and we were able to track those disruptions through a couple of COVID surges last year. Again, that information was provided by CalAPA members, was analyzed and distilled down to the key points, and reported back out to the membership via our “Member Alerts.” I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has responded to our frequent requests for your opinions or other data to help us achieve a better understanding of the market, issues and how we as an association can best serve your needs. This insight also helps us do a better job of representing your interests with the many elected officials, regulators, stakeholders and others we interact with each day. In other words, it takes our collective efforts to effectively answer the question, “What does everyone else think?”


Russell W. Snyder, CAE Executive Director California Asphalt Pavement Association 4

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


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Contents Volume 25, Issue 3


Publisher’s Letter



Collaboration leads to early reopening of iconic coastal Route 1 in Monterey County 2 months ahead of schedule


Protecting PCH


CalAPA COVID-19 vaccine survey


Member Profile: Griffith Company


Industry News

VSS International, Inc., wins Global Road Achievement Award in the category of Asset Preservation & Maintenance Management on the Pacific Coast Highway - South Los Angeles Project

Page 8

Survey of CalAPA newsletter subscribers finds COVID-19 hesitancy persistent The legendary company has been safely and efficiently building projects in California for 119 years and counting

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On the Cover:

Paving work nearly complete on coastal Route 1 in Monterey County. CalAPA member Papich Construction led the emergency construction project that was completed two months ahead of schedule, with CalAPA member Graniterock supplying the asphalt and other materials. Photo courtesy of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

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P.O. Box 981300 • West Sacramento • CA 95798 (Mailing Address) 1550 Harbor Blvd., Suite 211 • West Sacramento • CA 95691 • (916) 791-5044 Russell W. Snyder, CAE, Brandon M. Milar, P.E., Bill Knopf, • (442) 400-9697 Sophie You, Russell W. Snyder, CAE, Executive Director, CalAPA Construction Marketing Services, LLC • (909) 772-3121 P.O. Box 892977 • Temecula • CA 92589 Aldo Myftari Russell W. Snyder, CAE, CalAPA, Brian Hoover, CMS Kerry Hoover, CMS, (909) 772-3121

Copyright © 2021 – All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication may be reused in any form without prior permission of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. California Asphalt is the official publication of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. This bimonthly magazine distributes to members of the California Asphalt Pavem­­ ent Association; contractors; construction material producers; Federal, State and Local Government Officials; and others interested in asphalt pavements in California and gaining exclusive insight about the issues, trends and people that are shaping the future of the industry.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


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A BIG DEAL in BIG SUR Collaboration leads to early reopening of iconic coastal Route 1 in Monterey County 2 months ahead of schedule By Russell W. Snyder, CAE


ou know it's a big deal when the governor shows up. A massive slide that obliterated a section of scenic Highway 1 in Monterey County was reopened nearly two months ahead of schedule thanks to a collaborative effort of Caltrans and CalAPA members Papich Construction and Graniterock, plus a boost from asphalt’s speed-ofconstruction advantage. The route carved into the side of a coastal bluff had been closed since Jan. 28 when a powerful storm essentially blasted away the highway and a large portion of the steep bluff supporting it. Recent wildfires in the area contributed to the denuding of the hillsides, creating conditions ripe for a powerful winter storm to inflict maximum damage. "There are few, if any, more iconic routes than Highway 1 — not just in California but anywhere in the world," Gov. Gavin Newsom said as Caltrans announced the route was once again reopened as of April 23. "What this route means to the local economy, to the people of this region and to all Californians is invaluable." Newsom attended a reopening ceremony with Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin and other dignitaries, including those who worked on the emergency repairs that were conducted seven days a week immediately after the incident. The repairs required filling in a canyon8

sized washout area with 45,000 cubic yards of fill and constructing a new asphalt road on top of it — yet another demonstration of the versatility of asphalt under the most difficult conditions. To protect the route from future slides, the area was undergoing enhanced drainage improvements, including the installation of three culverts near the slide area. Additional work, including installing additional drainage and permanent barriers, will continue even as traffic can now move through the area. "While our emergency work continues to increase the resiliency of this highway to severe weather, Highway 1 is now reconnected and ready for use," Omishakin said. CalAPA member Papich Construction of Arroyo Grande was the prime contractor on the $11.5 million emergency project, known locally as Rat Creek, which has garnered national attention when jaw-dropping drone footage of the yawning, 150-foot wide chasm went viral on social media. "Caltrans, alongside our construction crews, worked intrepidly toward innovative solutions, which overcame numerous environmental, archaeological and engineering constraints to make this repair possible in record time," Papich Construction President Jason Papich told California Asphalt magazine shortly after the route reopened. The project joins a long list of emergency reconstruction projects

jointly delivered by Caltrans and its construction industry partners quickly and safely to cheers by residents and businesses who consider the routes lifelines,

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

especially in the COVID-19 era which has devastated the local tourism industry. "Highway 1 is one of the main funnels of tourism into San Luis Obispo County," said Jim Dantona, President/CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community, and we are immensely grateful for the incredible speed at which Caltrans and Papich Construction completed this project, reopening this important artery for our economy." Those sentiments were shared by those impacted to the south of the closure.

“Having Highway 1 closed has been putting a stranglehold on many businesses,” said Frank Geisler, CEO of the Monterey Chamber of Commerce. “Having this repair done so quickly has been a blessing for so many businesses, particularly the hospitality industry that has been hurt so badly by the pandemic.” Geisler said not only the hospitality industry was impacted, including businesses that cater to visitors to Pebble Beach, Big Sur, the Laguna Seca Raceway and many events, but also the agriculture industry, which relies on the vital route for shipping goods around the region. “This

was an enormous accomplishment by Caltrans engineers, contractors, and your members who supply all the material and knowhow.” Cooperation, communication and esprit de corps at all levels among all parties contributed to the success of the project, according to those interviewed for this story. “Caltrans and the construction teams of both Papich and Chaves Construction worked great together,” said Papich General Superintendent Randy Anderson. “To have the success that we had with as many separate agencies, departments, contractors, and their subs, was an accomplishment

Below: Highway 1 in Monterey County was reopened nearly two months ahead of schedule thanks to a collaborative effort of Caltrans and CalAPA members Papich Construction and Graniterock.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


in itself. Working with Maintenance, Design, Construction, Surveys, Environmental, and Archaeological at Caltrans, then adding two separate contractors working adjacent to one another to attain a common goal was a challenge. Jurisdictional arrogance could not be allowed if we were to complete this work on time — and it wasn’t. All of the teams worked well together.” That’s not to say the project wasn’t without its unique challenges, Anderson noted. “The most unique challenge to this project was to get the highway opened as soon as possible,” he said. “We were told that approximately $600 million in Monterey County and $400 million in San Luis Obispo County were what this highway being opened brought to these two areas annually. That being said, every day it was closed, cost those 10

economies $2 million. Therefore the challenge became more significant. “After many hours of discussion, with any and all ideas thrown on the table, different solutions thought out with their pros and cons, the idea of a tunneling operation was brought up,” Anderson said. “As far-reaching as it sounded at the time, it made the most sense. We researched it, found a competent sub-contractor and supplier, and moved in that direction. Not only would this plan save many months compared to the original bridge design, but it even saved a month or better if we had chosen the multiplate culvert design that seemed to be the best option at the time. We are just starting that phase of this repair but have the utmost confidence that it will succeed.” Good, old-fashioned hard work also was evident. Work was done 85 days straight, 12- to 13-hours a

Above: Caltrans and Papich Construction crews worked intrepidly toward innovative solutions, which overcame numerous environmental, archaeological and engineering constraints to make the Route 1 repair possible in record time.

day, and lots of coordination was required at all times so as to keep everyone safe. Anderson said there is plenty of credit to share. “From all the agencies involved who went the extra mile, taking phone calls on weekends and making the requests a reality,” Anderson said, “even to the truck drivers who hauled these permit loads down a highway that barely allows two cars to pass on some of the curves. To everyone who had any part in this project. It required more than what we all are normally expected of. And it happened. It also happened without any injuries or accidents, to either the public or to the crews.” [ Continued on page 12 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


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“This was a huge group effort in partnership with Papich Construction on the north and at Rat Creek, and Chaves Construction on the south side of Rat Creek,” said Amy Norris, Caltrans Construction Engineer for the project. “This all began the day after the huge rain, when both contractors immediately mobilized equipment to start the triage and assessment of the roadway. Papich drove around to the north and met at Rat Creek, and Chaves began assisting our maintenance crews from the south to access an 11-mile stretch of road that was cut off by debris flows. “The quality and speed of work from our contractors and subcontractors has continued

to amaze me,” Norris said. “The innovation to tunnel the large 10-foot culvert allowed us to open the roadway approximately one month earlier than we could have if we installed it during fill construction. I believe this was the greatest success to the timeline. I feel privileged to be a part of this team and participate in this exciting and dynamic project. It was an honor to give the road back to the community, California, and our visitors on opening day.” One of her bosses, Caltrans District 5 Central Region Construction Office Chief Timothy J. Campbell echoed her comments about the scenic route that carries thousands of vehicles a day along the craggy rim of the Pacific Ocean.

Below: The project used Warm Mix Asphalt to give more time for workability, which increased the chances to get the compaction required. They used both bottom dumps and transfers depending on the type of paving required. Inset: Fill material had to be brought in and compacted and drainage work had to be completed prior to asphalt construction.

“Highway 1 on the Big Sur Coast is a vital link for locals and to the California’s tourism industry,” he said. “Due to long closures during the 2017 Mud Creek slide and the impacts of the pandemic, we knew the importance of getting Rat Creek open as soon as possible for the local economy. Working closely with our partners at Papich Construction we were able to open the highway to traffic much earlier than anticipated and well in advance of the tourism season.” Steve Chaves, owner of S. Chaves Construction, based in San Luis Obispo, said his employees had already been working in the area clearing roadway debris and clogged storm drains in advance of the approaching winter storm

Above: Sub-contractors were innovative and tunneled the large 10-foot culvert which allowed the roadway to open approximately one month earlier than scheduled. Right: The massive slide obliterated a section of scenic Highway 1 in Monterey County January 2021.

season when the mountainside got clobbered by the deluge and gave way, so his crews were immediately pressed into service on the Route 1 reconstruction. “We all know each other,” Chaves said, “so there was a lot of communication between us, Papich and Caltrans. A big part of the success of this project was working together.” Communication was especially important because cellular service at the slide site was spotty to nonexistent, so crews had to carefully coordinate trucking and material delivery to ensure operations ran smoothly and work in one area did not disrupt work in another area. “It was a good project, and we were happy to contribute our services in the safe reopening of Route 1,” he said. After all the fill material was brought in and compacted, and

drainage work completed, it was time to recreate the roadway, which is where asphalt came in. Anderson, the Papich Superintendent, noted the asphalt portion of the job presented its own challenges. “It might be worthy to note that the haul from the Graniterock Aromas Hot Mix Asphalt plant was a little over two hours one way, and sometimes more due to the tourist traffic,” Anderson said. “They used a Warm Mix Asphalt mix design to give us more time for workability, which increased our chances to get the compaction required. We used both bottom dumps and transfers depending on the type of paving required. The majority of the paving was concentrated over the Rat Creek fill and the transitions on both the north and south ends. It was approximately a quarter mile of a two-lane highway, paving two, 3-inch lifts of ¾” HMA. Other paving

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

included some trench repair, minor road failures due to the heavy truck haul during construction, and some dike and miscellaneous area paving that we incorporated some 3/8” berm mix.” Overall, Anderson said, Papich paved one lift of asphalt per day over two days, and then placed asphalt berms and other miscellaneous paving on Day 3. Watsonville-based Graniterock, a legendary century-old construction materials supplier and contractor, was more than up to the challenge of the project. Graniterock transportation dispatch supervisor J.R. Renteria said his company delivered all the requested materials on time, even operating the asphalt plant on a Saturday to accommodate the accelerated work. He said between February and April, Graniterock delivered about 3,000 tons of 13

Above: Additional paving included some trench repair, minor road failures due to the heavy truck haul during construction, and some dike and miscellaneous area paving that incorporated some 3/8” berm mix.

materials to the jobsite, including about 1,500 tons of asphalt, 500 tons of base rock, 600 tons of sand and 250 tons of shoulder-backing aggregate. “Excellent pre-planning and communication were key to the success of this job because once the contractor was on site, they had no cell phone reception,” Renteria said. “Once their materials orders were set up and decisions made, they were hard to change. It’s not like they could call and change things at the last minute. The Papich project management

team was really good at figuring out the exact tonnage they needed each day and we made sure to deliver that. With the nearly threehour haul each way, trucking was critical. We arranged to have enough trucks so they only had to deliver one load as opposed to a few trucks making two trips each day. This resulted in a more reliable and efficient delivery of the timesensitive asphalt.” Renteria said “the Papich team was great to work with in that everything was well planned and executed, which makes it easier

for Graniterock to help deliver a successful project.” Or, as the governor would proclaim on the Big Day, “Today, ahead of schedule thanks to the work of so many, the iconic Highway 1 reopened near Big Sur.” CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA).

Shana Crigger with Graniterock also contributed to this story.

Route 1 Reconstruction ‘Fun Facts’: Editor’s Note: At the request of California Asphalt magazine, Randy Anderson, General Superintendent of Papich Construction, provided the following initial numbers on the Route 1 reconstruction project, scratched out on yellow lined paper by Papich on-site Superintendent Augie Wilhite that Wilhite titled “Fun Facts”: • • • • • • • • • 14

Approximately 1,600 tons of ½-inch and ¾-inch “warm mix” HMA utilized 2- 2 1/2 hours of travel to Graniterock Aromas plant. Total working days: 85 30 to 40 trucks in operation 60 drainage systems worked on (including 5 major drainage systems, and 4 culverts replaced) 65,000 cubic yards of mud removed from Rat Creek (6,500 truck loads) 190,000 cubic-yards of debris hauled from a 20-mile stretch of the highway in the slide area. 150 truckloads of redwood debris removed from slide area. Total fill used was 44,340 cubic-yards over 25 days (averaging 1,774 yards per day). California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

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Above and right: Route 1 was reopened ahead of schedule, just 86 days after the massive mudslide that took place on January 28th. Governor Gavin Newsom, dignitaries and industry professionals are pictured here at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reopening of the iconic highway.

In his own words: Gov. Gavin Newsom comments at the Route 1 reopening (Posted via video on social media on April 23) “I’m here at Rat Creek on the iconic Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, here in California. This was the site on January 28 of a massive mudslide that ultimately took out a section of the highway that you see behind me. No one could have imagined, some 86 days later, way ahead of schedule, that we’re here. We just did a ribbon-cutting, reopening this iconic highway. What’s remarkable about this, it happened on budget, it happened ahead of time, but it also happened in the context of these extreme events. The reason this was washed out was because 16

of a major wildfire we experienced, the Dolan Fire, about 130,000 acres, that came right here, on to the coast, right hear at the highway. Because of those scars, because of those fire burns, from that August 2020 wildfire, we had massive mud flows because we had a two-day event, 16 inches of rain, with these atmospheric rivers that led to this massive mud flow that ultimately took out a big portion of the highway. So it’s just a demonstrable example of the extremes that we’re all facing and the challenges of climate change and climate-induced weather

events that are more acute and more intense than any other time in our lives.” The transcript above is taken from a video clip that was posted on Twitter April 23 along with the accompanying statement: “Today, ahead of schedule thanks to the work of so many, the iconic Hwy 1 reopened near Big Sur. This section washed out from mudslides after wildfires. Climate change is real & is happening across our state. Californians can yet again enjoy the ultimate road-trip destination.” CA

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


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Protecting PCH VSS International, Inc., wins Global Road Achievement Award in the category of Asset Preservation & Maintenance Management on the Pacific Coast Highway - South Los Angeles Project

Type III slurry seal material being placed with a Macropaver 12E truck mounted slurry seal machine.

By Brian Hoover


he Pacific Coast Highway is arguably the most scenic and iconic stretch of asphalt highway in all the United States. Also referred to as PCH, Highway 1, State Route 1, or as many Californian's would say, "The One," this more than 650-mile stretch of roadway serves as a major thoroughfare for the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay area, as well as other coastal California cities. Designated as an All-American


Road or one of 184 National Scenic Byways, State Route 1 (SR 1) requires continual maintenance to keep the essential highway open and safe for commerce, commuters and tourists alike. Mudslides, potholes, fires, and the wear-andtear from the constant, heavy traffic require ongoing preventative and reactive maintenance by Caltrans. VSS International, Inc. (VSS International) was recently recognized for its work on a 22-mile section of

State Route 1 from Seal Beach and north to Artesia Boulevard in Los Angeles County. The International Road Federation (IRF) awarded the "Pacific Coast Highway – South Los Angeles" Project with the 2020 Global Road Achievement Award (GRAA) in the category of "Asset Preservation & Maintenance Management." The award was presented to VSS International, Inc. Nov. 13 at the 2020 IRF Global R2T Conference.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

Right: VSS International’s Project Management team Ivan Russ (left) and Jon James partnered closely with Caltrans on a nightly basis to ensure all project requirements were met.

The International Road Federation's (IRF) awards program is recognized worldwide as a prestigious industry accolade. If the IRF name is familiar to CalAPA members, it may be because the association has sponsored six graduate-level college students studying pavement engineering into the IRF's "Road Scholar" fellowship program. IRF's project awards program further serves as a reminder to a much wider audience that the mobility everyone takes for granted would not be possible without the talent and commitment of our global road building industry. By winning this award, VSS International and Caltrans have joined an elite group of Global Road Achievement Awards (GRAA) winners whose exemplary projects have been recognized by their peers for their excellence, innovation and societal impacts. Projects like the PCH South Los Angeles project serve as a model of inspiration for others in the road and transport sector. Jeff Roberts serves as senior vice president for VSS International, and he was directly involved in the entire construction process on the PCH South Los Angeles slurry seal project. "Winning this prestigious award is a tremendous testimony to the hard-working men and women of VSS who performed this work in Los Angeles," says

Winning this prestigious award is a tremendous testimony to the hard-working men and women of VSS who performed this work in Los Angeles," says Roberts. "We are so grateful to the International Road Federation for recognizing that sustainable pavement preservation techniques play a huge role globally in protecting our planet through conservation of limited natural resources. – Jeff Roberts, Senior Vice President, VSS International, Inc. Roberts. "We are so grateful to the International Road Federation for recognizing that sustainable pavement preservation techniques play a huge role globally in protecting our planet through conservation of limited natural resources." The Caltrans preservation and maintenance contract for the 22-mile segment of SR 1 is located in the heart of Los Angeles County with a surrounding population of

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

nearly 10 million. This section of SR 1 has 130 lane-miles heavily traveled by approximately 80,000 vehicles each day and directly supports business for the busy Port of Long Beach and local commercial districts. Caltrans contracted VSS International to place around 8 million square feet of engineered slurry seal on the 22-mile section. The asphalt emulsion materials were supplied by VSS Emultech's plant located in 19

Above & Right: Concerns for both public and crew safety on this heavily traveled roadway made attention to detail for traffic control and logistics planning paramount to project success.

Bakersfield, while the Type III slurry seal aggregates were provided from Chandler Aggregates, Inc. The PCH South Los Angeles Project began with VSS International's subcontractors performing the necessary preparatory work. VSS International then self-performed the slurry seal work over a six-toeight-week period. In addition to the slurry seal, VSS International and their subcontractors performed necessary pavement repairs, including crack sealing, along with the removal and replacement of all pavement markings and, finally, the striping of the roadway. "All of the subcontractors performed admirably, and there were zero safety incidents or claims on the project," says Roberts. "Key suppliers and subcontractors on this project 20

included MD Rubberized Crackfill, Inc., Superior Pavement Markings, Inc., Hardy & Harper, Inc., Maneri Traffic Control Services, Inc., Global Environmental Network, Inc., Lee Contractors & Consultants, Inc., VSS Emultech, VSS Macropaver, Chandler Aggregates, Inc. and K&K Construction Supply, Inc." The Type III slurry seal treatment was the preservation strategy chosen by Caltrans to extend the pavement life of this 22-mile section of SR 1. According to Roberts, the work was performed under intense working conditions and surrounded by an open and active highway system. "This $5,617,120 contract was executed almost exclusively at night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. when all lanes were required to be open to traffic," says

Roberts. "What set this job apart from typical slurry seals was the requirement that the materials be placed at night due to the extremely heavy daytime traffic. The cooler coastal conditions found adjacent to the Pacific Ocean can affect the performance of the asphalt emulsion binder. This made it all the more critical for VSS International to formulate a highperformance emulsion with modern chemistry that would allow for the materials to set and cure quickly." Roberts points out that there have been many technical advances in the emulsion systems used for these applications. VSS International's Technical Group was able to engineer a formulation that allowed the slurry seal product [ Continued on page 22 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue




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to meet and exceed both the placement and performance challenges specified by Caltrans. "The slurry seal was produced with a coarser Type III aggregate that allowed for a heavier application rate to address and correct the more severe surface defects while also improving skid resistance. The asphalt emulsion serves as a binder, holding the crushed aggregate together and adhering the new slurry surfacing to the old surface over which it is being applied," continues Roberts. "The quick setting, high-performance slurry seal material was instrumental in allowing for all lanes to be open by 6 a.m. for the morning commute." Roberts says that VSS International used four Macropaver 12E slurry seal machines manufactured by Reed International in Hickman. "These units ensured a finished product of the highest possible quality through the use of automatic sequencing and monitoring of all materials being placed by the machine," says Roberts. "These particular machines had Caltrans approved material monitoring and control systems to ensure correct proportioning of all materials. All machines were properly calibrated in the presence of Caltrans prior to use on this project." According to Roberts, the VSS International solution was a huge success, saving the taxpayer millions compared to a more traditional approach. Additionally, residents and motorists were subjected to much less inconvenience and disruption due to nighttime scheduling and reduction in the number of shifts. "We were also able to reduce the impact on the environment by decreasing the use of virgin aggregate by 85 percent and eliminating the need to grind and remove 90,000 tons of existing asphalt material," says Roberts. "Instead, we utilized 1,353 tons 22

"VSS International worked quickly and responsibly to provide smooth coordination between the City of Long Beach and Los Angeles through several challenges on this project.” – Sam Gallardo, Resident Engineer, Caltrans District 7.

of emulsion, which required much less energy than the traditional hot mix asphalt alternative where 78 percent more liquid asphalt would have been needed. Everyone wins, including the local community, motorists and taxpayers. All will benefit from a better ride and a more aesthetically pleasing roadway, all at a fraction of the cost and reduced use of natural resources." Roberts points out that more than 50 individual VSS International employees contributed to the success of this project. Jon James and Ivan Russ managed the field operations while Matt Ferguson and Jesse Ferguson teamed up on the project's construction management activities. Together, Caltrans and VSS International partnered to provide a finished product of the highest quality, resulting from an organized, systematic execution and application of multiple preventive maintenance strategies that will minimize the pavement's life-cycle costs for years to come. Sam Gallardo was the resident engineer for Caltrans District 7 and he worked closely with VSS International to ensure a successful finished product. "VSS International worked quickly and responsibly to provide smooth coordination between the City of Long Beach and Los Angeles through several challenges on this project," says Gallardo. Roberts says that special recognition should be given to the District 7 Caltrans office located in Carson, with special thanks to Gallardo, PE, the

resident engineer on the project, David Njuya, PE, senior resident engineer, and Wendel Davidson, PE, assistant resident engineer. The International Road Federation's Global Road Achievement Awards (GRAA) is a one-of-a-kind competition that recognizes innovative road projects and exemplary people that place the road industry at the forefront of worldwide social and economic development. Instituted in 2000, the awards have distinguished more than 185 programs, projects, and products from around the world. "Speaking for VSS International, I can tell you that we are very proud and honored to have received the 2020 Global Road Achievement Award (GRAA) in the category of 'Asset Preservation & Maintenance Management,'" concludes Roberts. VSS International has been in business since 1919 as they strive to remain at the forefront of pavement preservation technology. VSS International is well-known for its innovative asphalt and emulsion technologies and cutting-edge equipment manufacturing. For more information on VSS International and their slurry seal capabilities, please visit their website at slurry. com or call their West Sacramento headquarters at (916) 373-1500. CA Brian Hoover is co-owner of Construction Marketing Services, LLC, and editor of CalContractor Magazine.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

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CalAPA survey finds COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy persistent By Russell W. Snyder, CAE


survey conducted in April by CalAPA found that a quarter of respondents had received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, which was before the shots became widely available to all age groups in California as of April 15. That number is presumed to grow along with the statewide figures of vaccination in the general population, which surpassed 30 million in the Golden State receiving at least one shot by early May. “We’re at a pivotal moment in our COVID-19 vaccine rollout – more than 30 million doses have been administered in California to date,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “and it’s going to take some new approaches to reach those who haven’t been vaccinated yet.” The governor released a public service announcement featuring former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger encouraging Californians to get vaccinated to help speed the state’s exit from restrictive public health measures that plunged the state into a deep recession in 2020. Other elements of the vaccination campaign included additional reporting, phone baking and door-knocking, partnering with philanthropic organizations and community groups, at-home vaccine programs and free transportation to locations where shots are administered. A COVID-19 vaccine hotline is (833) 422-4255. The construction industry is supporting a campaign to educate workers on the importance of getting vaccinated and trying to dispel myths that are circulating in various communities or via social media. The state has set a target 24

date of June 15 to reopen most of its economy, and California’s numbers of infected, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped dramatically as more people are vaccinated. According to the California Department of Public Health, as of early May, more than 60,000 Californians have died in the past year from COVID-19, the respiratory ailment that is caused by the coronavirus, which has triggered widespread economic restrictions intended in 2020 to thwart the spread of the highly contagious disease. The global coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic arrived in California in February of 2020, and possibly earlier, and public health officials the following month began issuing a series of advisories to slow the spread of the potentially deadly virus. The governor issued a statewide “stay at home” order on March 19, although the construction industry in general (including the construction materials industry) was designated an essential service and was allowed to continue work with additional safety precautions in place. The state and various counties began gradually lifting

many of the restrictions in May of 2020, but an upswing in cases in the summer months, and an even worse surge over the Winter months, led to more restrictions. A number of precautions to limit the spread of the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the virus are strongly advised, including “social distancing” (keeping 6-feet of space between people), frequent hand washing and other hygiene practices, and the use of face coverings in public. In April of this year, the federal government relaxed recommendations of mask wearing outdoors for those who have been fully vaccinated, with exceptions for crowded venues. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths in California have been dropping dramatically in recent months in California, with the state reporting among the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the nation, even as other states experienced new surges in cases. CalAPA has been continuously assessing the COVID-19 threat, reporting relevant information to members, and engaging elected officials, regulators and policymakers on the industry’s behalf.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

The association conducted a COVID-19 impact survey of selected members in April of 2020, and conducted follow-up surveys in July, August and November. Generally, the surveys found the industry continuing to operate during the pandemic with limited disruption, albeit with numerous restrictions that reduced productivity. On April 1 of this year, CalAPA conducted a brief survey of its members and others who subscribe to the weekly “California Asphalt Insider” newsletter. The survey focused narrowly on how many people have been vaccinated, and of those who have not yet been vaccinated, if there was any hesitancy to do so. This survey was prompted by widespread reports of very high percentages of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among those in the construction industry broadly. A “California Asphalt Insider” article on this topic was published on March 22. In the CalAPA survey, a total of 244 industry and agency personnel took the non-scientific poll (55 percent self-identified as working in the asphalt and/or construction industry, 28 percent were agency personnel, and the remainder were academia or “other”). The results are as follows: • 60 percent of poll respondents said they had received at least one COVID-19 shot, and 40 percent said they had not received a shot. • Of those who had not received a COVID-19 vaccine, 22 percent indicated they intended to get vaccinated, 13 percent said they would not, and about 8 percent were unsure. The results above are roughly consistent with a recent Pew Research Center survey of the general population, conducted in February, that found 15 percent of Americans would probably not get

a vaccine, and another 15 percent said they “definitely would not” get the vaccine. The numbers of people saying they would avoid the vaccine, however, is trending down in recent months as the shots are more widely available and people learn more about the vaccines now on the market. The numbers for the construction industry, however, appear to be worse than for other occupations. A story that received widespread attention in the Spring carried the troubling headline, "Construction workers among least likely to seek vaccine, report says." The report was carried by the Construction Dive website, and referenced a study from data research firm Morning Consult, based on a survey of 16,970 employed adults conducted between October and January. The report sent shock waves through the construction industry, and triggered a fair amount of debate about what to do about it. Vaccines, after all, are the ultimate protection against the spread of the COVID-19, public health experts say. The various steps taken to prevent the spread of the virus, such as banning close contact, wearing of masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing, are interim steps to blunt the outbreak until vaccines are widely administered, helping communities achieve the "herd immunity" of between 70 percent to 90 percent of the population. In a commentary posted on the "RockBlog" of CalAPA member Graniterock, penned by CEO Tom Squeri, he wrote, "I worry about this high level of vaccine hesitancy among our crews," and added that Graniterock has lost two employees to the virus in recent months. "Believe me," he wrote, "their families and friends think COVID-19 is a big deal." The reasons cited in the CalAPA survey by those who reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine include

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

those who have already contracted the virus and therefore believe they already have immunity, those who are not yet comfortable with the science behind the vaccine or are worried about side effects, and other miscellaneous reasons. Public health officials maintain getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid contracting the highly contagious COVID-19 disease and for spreading it to others. “The vaccine may be more harmful than the disease,” one industry survey respondent wrote. “Time will tell.” Added another industry representative, “I took the flu vaccine once and got the flu. What’s the difference?” Another industry representative said simply, “I don’t want one.” “I don’t know until I talk to my physician,” another industry representative commented. While many respondents cited the very slight chances of them getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19, others were motivated over concern about transmitting the disease to others. “I wasn’t going to get the vax, but my mom has terminal cancer. It’s the ONLY reason I got it,” one industry representative said. An agency representative who had not received a vaccination commented, “Scheduled for one this week.” A union-management coalition has collaborated on a campaign to assist employers and workers in understanding the importance of getting vaccinated, and to help dispel myths about vaccines. A website devoted to the campaign includes Frequently Asked Questions and talking points that can be used at safety meetings. That website is: CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA).


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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


Griffith Company Safely and efficiently building California for 119 years and counting By Brian Hoover


ounded in 1902, Griffith Company (Griffith) is one of Southern California's earliest general contractors. From the Central Valley to the Los Angeles Basin to Orange County and San Diego, Griffith has long played a significant role in the phenomenal growth of this great state. Griffith was there when the first streets were graded, and the initial runways were paved for commercial airplanes to soar to incredible heights. They were also there when the mighty Colorado River was tapped and when the interstate system was first constructed. Their longevity and accomplishments have provided a solid foundation that Griffith has built upon to become one of California's most successful and revered construction companies. Every year of Griffith's growth and achievements have been memorable, but 2020 brought one of the wildest rides of the company's 119-year history. This included everything from fires and riots to one of the craziest elections this country has ever witnessed. Griffith also worked through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while


working hard to keep California moving forward on numerous and vital construction projects. Griffith Company President and CEO Jaimie Angus points out that through all the turmoil of 2020, they could still perform at high levels and provide their shareholders with over a 20 percent return on their equity. "We are still in a good place to build profitable work without lowering our margins. Our overhead will undoubtedly rise given increased insurance costs from the fires, riots and natural disasters, but it is something that we can confidently manage," says Angus. "We have high hopes for a new stimulus transportation bill from the Federal Highway Administration and look for that to be passed later this year. I'm looking forward to a more predictable, profitable, sociable and fun 2021." Walter Weishaar is the Vice President and Regional Manager of the Central Region for Griffith, and he speaks to the company's progress in 2021 thus far. "2021 has been an interesting year so far for many reasons. Paving jobs have been a little more difficult to pick up

due to the number of players in town that have spread the field a bit," says Weishaar. "Caltrans has not put as much out to bid compared to past years, and it will be interesting to see what this year brings. Caltrans has a huge budget surplus, which is positive. Hopefully, we will see most of that go out for bid, but if they pull back, it may be a challenge to repeat the same success we have enjoyed these past few years." Griffith performs both public and private work from Kern County to San Diego, and they work long and hard to maintain their status as one of the best in the paving business. "Paving is our bread and butter, and it is where we shine," says Weishaar. "We continue to work upon our stellar reputation with agencies as one of the best in the business. We are not always the cheapest, but we will continue to strive to be the best by providing the smoothest ride possible for everyone to enjoy now and into the future." Weishaar points out that a lot of work and preplanning goes into a project before the actual paving starts. "We work primarily in Southern and Central California

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

Above and right: Griffith Company putting down 20,000 tons of hot mix asphalt on Wilshire Boulevard between Western Ave. and San Vincente Blvd. for the Wilshire Bust Rapid Transit (BRT) project in 2014.

and our plant location in Bakersfield performs around one-third of the workload," says Weishaar. "We have progressively become more aggressive in chasing the larger and more challenging projects that we do best." Griffith remains in demand due to its longevity, amazing quality, vertical integration and multiple division availability. These divisions include concrete, landscape, underground, structures, environmental, crushing, and recycling. "Our separate business units put us in the

unique situation of securing work as a subcontractor even when we do not win the prime project," continues Weishaar. Griffith is currently in the midst of one of the largest and most involved projects in its long and enduring history. It is a joint venture team project with Ferrovial-Agroman West, LLC referred to as California Rail Builders, LLC. "We are the minority partner on a portion of the high-speed rail project out on Highway 46 near Shafter from Poplar Avenue to 1 mile north of the Tulare/Kern County

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

line. It is a close to half-a-billiondollar joint venture where Griffith also serves as a subcontractor for the middle and southern package," says Weishaar. "This is an approximately $40 million contract that involves earthwork, drainage, sub-ballast, wildlife crossings, structure excavation, paving and several other scopes of work. Ferrovial-Agroman West has the high-speed rail experience required to bid on this project. Griffith provides the resources and local knowledge to get constructed safely and efficiently."


Left: Griffith using their Roadtec SB-2500e shuttle buggy feeding Cat 1055 paver on DRI Minterfield project.

Above left: Paving on High Speed Rail Construction Package 4 project at the Tulare/Kern County Line. Above right: Lincoln material transfer vehicle feeding rubberized hot mix asphalt into Vogele Super 2000-3i paver on Highway 99/5 project near Wheeler Ridge.

Weishaar started bidding on this massive project in 2015 when he served as the company's Chief Estimator. Several years later, it all came to fruition when he began his service as Vice President and Regional Manager of the Central Region. "We are a paving company, but this job allowed us to showcase our diversity and other abilities, including moving close to a million yards of dirt," continues Weishaar. "The job began in 2018 and is scheduled for completion in 2023." Griffith is also in the beginning stages of another extensive project known as the Griffith-


Vanguard Joint Venture. This job is a continually reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) lane replacement project in Los Angeles, Diamond Bar, and the City of Industry from the Orange County line to the Route 57/60 separation for Caltrans. Whether it is a smaller private construction job or a massive joint venture, public works project, Griffith has the vertical integration and experience needed to get the job done right. Griffith must continue to maintain and upgrade their hot mix asphalt plant and aggregate supply facility to remain at the top of their game. The company

acquired its hot mix plant in 1994 and has continued updating components and technology over the past 27 years. Weishaar started with Griffith in 2012, and he brought Mike Williams onboard as the Asphalt Plant Superintendent in 2016. "We have continued to update our asphalt plant over the years, and Walter brought me in to continue making improvements that allow us to meet and exceed our large market demand," says Williams. "Last year, we produced 332,000 tons of hot mix asphalt, and we recently added rubberized asphalt production capabilities [ Continued on page 32 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


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Above left: Weiler material transfer vehicle feeding the Cat 1055 hopper on the 24th Street Project in Bakersfield. Above right: Finished paving on Miner Street at the Port of Los Angeles. Left: Completed project at Berths 142-143 in the Port of Los Angeles.

[ Continued from page 30 ]

here in Bakersfield. Additionally, we opened a new recycling yard in the Inland Empire that replaces the Irvine location. We crush and recycle a great deal of material daily from this new and improved facility in Pyrite." Griffith also continues to update their heavy equipment fleet one machine at a time. "We recently replaced our Cat wheel dozer with a new Cat D10 dozer to mine materials at our rock plant in Bakersfield. Additionally, we have added two new Roadtec shuttle buggys, new wheel loaders and new GPS motor graders, along with a new Cat


paving machine," says Weishaar. "We have added additional hot oil tanks to better support our various oil grade products with more storage capacity. We also look to expand our silo capacity to store high demand products like asphalt chips while we continue to produce hot mix asphalt each day." Since its inception over a century ago, Griffith has maintained a reputation as a full-service contractor dedicated to delivering on its promises. Griffith currently has 230 dedicated employees working at their Bakersfield facility and close to 800 company-wide.

They are an old company full of young, energetic and forwardthinking individuals poised to provide a bright and exciting future for years to come. Griffith currently has regional offices in Brea, Bakersfield, Santa Fe Springs and San Diego. For more information on Griffith Company, please visit their website at or call their Brea headquarters at (714) 984-5500. CA Brian Hoover is co-owner of Construction Marketing Services, LLC, and editor of CalContractor Magazine.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

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ALL THINGS ASPHALT CalAPA: The voice of the asphalt pavement industry in California since 1953 For more than six decades people who want to know about asphalt come to the California Asphalt Pavement Association. The association has built a reputation as the go-to source for information, expertise and insight for companies, agency personnel, elected officials, regulators, academia and other stakeholders. But don’t take our word for it — here are a few testimonials from those who have found value from their interactions with CalAPA. My only regret is that we didn’t join CalAPA a long time ago. Joining CalAPA has given my company the opportunity to stay on top of the significant changes occurring in our industry. To me, CalAPA is built around reciprocal relationships where all members and the association itself benefits from one another by joining a cause and sharing information. It’s a great network to be a part of and makes me feel much less alone in such a specialized industry.” Sloan Larsen, Co-owner, Antioch Building Materials

We’ve had very successful collaboration with CalAPA over the years especially as it relates to environmental and regulatory/legislative challenges which have faced our industry. Examples are not only the IARC preparation work, but more acutely, the work surrounding Proposition 65 issues, leachate/runoff, and our joint work to educate legislatures and agencies on what asphalt is (and is not). We are also very pleased to work in a supportive way with the help of our Senior Regional Engineer in the state who also has responsibilities throughout a multistate region. These joint efforts have helped our industry with several large projects which have directed benefited the citizens of the state with long lasting and durable asphalt Pete Grass, CAE, Chief Executive pavements.” Officer, Asphalt Institute

CalAPA is a key partner for Caltrans. CalAPA supports an incredible network of suppliers, contractors and academia who promote critical infrastructure works through education, communication and advocacy. I am especially grateful for the CalAPA team’s commitment to innovation, safety, and sustainability. CalAPA continues to help Caltrans advance innovation in materials through the Pavement and Materials Partnering Committee where we have the opportunity to collaborate with experts and practitioners to ensure taxpayers are getting good value for their dollars and advancing more environ-mentally sustainable business process.” Tim Greutert, Division Chief, Materials Engineering & Technical Services (State Materials Engineer), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)


As new members, we have found CalAPA be a valuable resource. We have felt incredible support across the entire organization, from leadership and other CalAPA members. The APA gives us important insight and information through various committees and webinars, as well as opportunities to connect to other leaders in the asphalt paving industry. We highly recommend joining and are proud to be members of CalAPA.” Aimee Anundsen, Cargill

Partnerships are important to StreetsLA, as we maintain the largest street system in the country. We value CalAPA because it helps us stay networked and up to date on best practices, new technologies and the latest developments in the industry.” Keith Mozee, Assistant Director and Chief of Operations, StreetsLA (City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services)

Becoming a Member of CalAPA has been a great business decision. In addition to interacting with leading industry related professionals on a regular basis, becoming a member has allowed us to keep our fingers on the pulse of the paving industry by having a voice, keeping informed with the latest considerations in safety, efficiency, technical processes, learning resources, and pavement innovation. The intangible that membership brings is confidence and accuracy in decision making, which has a direct and positive influence to our bottom Adam Sinutko, Laboratory line.” Manager, Toro Enterprises

SCCA is very fortunate to work with the California Asphalt Pavement Association. CalAPAs in depth knowledge on transportation issues proves very valuable when dealing with the many complex issues surrounding our industry. Whether it is taking on pavement smoothness or the many challenges that it took to pass SB1, SCCA always looked to its partnership with CalAPA for clarification and guidance. Our industry happens to be small and it benefits all of us that construction industry associations work together on issues that will impact our industry.” John Cooper, Vice President, Southern California Contractors Association

I like to stay involved in our industry and keep up with our competitors. I joined CalAPA as soon as I was in a position to do so and plan to continue to taking advantage of all their wonderful programs and assets.” Kevin Jeffers, Operations Manager, Albina Asphalt

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue


ADVERTISER INDEX Albina Asphalt.......................................15 Butler-Justice, Inc................................ 33 CalAPA.................................................. 26 Clairemont Equipment.......................... 35 Coastline Equipment.............................. 5 Ergon Asphalt........................................17 E.D. Etnyre & Co................................... 37 Hawthorne CAT....................................... 2 HaulHub................................................ 33 Herrmann Equipment, Inc.....................11

Holt of California..................................... 2 Matich Corporation............................... 27 Nixon-Egli Equipment Co........ Back Cover Pavement Recycling Systems.............. 35 Peterson CAT.......................................... 2 PRI........................................................ 37 Quinn Co................................................. 2 Roadtec.................................................. 7 Sapphire Gas Solutions........................ 39 Scott Equipment..............................27, 36

Sitech................................................... 23 Sully-Miller........................................... 36 Topcon.................................................... 5 Toro Enterprises................................... 33 TransTech Systems, Inc........................ 38 U.S. Polyco........................................... 31 Volvo Construction Equip. & Svcs.......... 3 VSS International.................................. 21

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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Pavement Preservation Issue

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Above and right: Hazard Construction using their Vogele Super 1700-3i tracked paving machine on the Otay Truck Route where they were rehabilitating pavement and widening the heavy truck traveled route near the border in Otay Mesa.

Hazard Construction Company (Hazard) has been building Southern California since 1926. Today, they are a full-service general engineering contracting firm with a focus on private sector work. The company performs and manages commercial site development, residential subdivisions, golf course construction, and public sector projects throughout Southern California. Hazard recently took delivery of a brand-new Vogele Super 1700-3i tracked paving machine from Nixon-Egli Equipment Company. This is their first Vogele paving machine, and they are very impressed with its performance. Mark Thunder is the vice president of operations for Hazard and worked closely with Nixon-Egli on the new Vogele purchase. “We were in the market for an 8-foot-wide paver, and we demoed quite a few,” says Thunder. “What separated the Vogele Super 1700-3i from the other brands was the high-quality mat and smooth texture that the machine puts down. Another feature that impressed us was the overall power of the machine. Some 8-foot pavers are light and can’t push trucks up a steep grade, not this one.” Thunder also points to the ErgoPlus-3 operating system as another feature that separates the Super 1700-3i from the pack. “The ErgoPlus operating system offers the most advanced technology for a highly ergonomic and safe working environment, and that means a lot to our operating team.” The Super 1700-3i represents Hazard’s first paving machine purchase from Nixon-Egli Equipment Co. “We have purchased rollers and rented other equipment from Nixon-Egli in the past. From start to finish they gave us great service and support. Even on night jobs, they are only a phone call away,” continues Thunder. “Our sales representative Jay Rosa is great to work with and always goes above and beyond for us. It was a pleasure working with the Nixon-Egli team.”

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