California Asphalt Magazine – 2021 Quality Issue

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INSIDE: CalAPA’s advocacy efforts: focused & effective SB1 author, CalAPA members salute Caltrans-industry training partnership Member Profile: Graniterock

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Publisher’s Letter Ask why. And then listen to and reflect on the answer. I recently heard someone say, “An argument is just an exchange of ignorance.” Hearing that made me pause. Although many of us put a negative connotation on the word “ignorance,” ignorance actually means a lack of knowledge or information. The social climate of late has been extremely divisive, often times resulting in hurtful, angry or defensive rhetoric being exchanged between two groups in an “us vs. them” way. When we truly step back from these arguments, however, there is almost always ignorance on both sides. Not asking more questions to educate ourselves is leading to frustration, lack of trust and a harder world to live in. One of the initiatives that my company has recently embarked on is creating a set of protocols and communication strategies that allow people to understand each other before launching into what they believe is the solution. This starts with asking why, then continuing to ask more whys to drill down to the true causes of issues so that we can fix the root cause and not just put a Band-Aid on a symptom of the problem. Asking why more often, and having grace when someone asks you why, is proving to be one of the simplest tools we have to truly solve problems quicker with a higher chance of making both parties happy. Continue to ask why until you find the root cause of the problem. One example that stands out right now is that September is National Suicide Prevention month. But why is it such a big deal to have a whole month dedicated to it? And why should we care in our industry? Many of our readers would be surprised to learn that the mining and construction industry ranks in the top two occupations for suicide rates among men, with suicide four times more common in mining and 3.5 times more common in construction than the general public. Armed with this knowledge, we then must ask ourselves, why would suicide be higher in our industry than any other industry for men? Perhaps it is because of the “macho” mentality in which we don’t talk about our feelings, fears or concerns. Perhaps it is toxic management barking orders and not considering critical issues that can lead to problems and frustrations. Perhaps it is our go-go-go attitude to get things done quickly, even if it means our workers must spend 12 hours at work on a shift, or work six or seven days straight, and not seeing their families for weeks or even months on end. Find your team’s why. Then ask, why do we have that culture at our company? Get down to the true reason. Is it money? Is it brand? Is it that we’ve always done it that way? You’ll be surprised what can come out of sitting around a table, just asking why, and having the grace to really hear and process the answers you get. We can all be better, but first we have to address our ignorance, understand that we don’t know everything, admit when we are wrong, change course, and make things better for ourselves, our customers, and most importantly for our people. If these conversations are not occurring in your life, perhaps you should ask yourself, why not? Sincerely,

Toni Carroll Director of Quality Graniterock 4

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue



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Contents Volume 25, Issue 5


Publisher’s Letter


CalAPA’s advocacy efforts:


Focused & effective by design to deliver quality results

CalAPA members, elected officials gather in San Jose to celebrate innovative Caltrans-industry Joint Training & Certification Program


Politically Correct Pavement?


The asphalt industry responds to the customer


Member Profile: Graniterock


Industry News:

Page 8

Page 18

Catching up with Graniterock and their continuing evolution of industry-leading, quality, sustainable business practices

Albina Asphalt acquires and upgrades new asphalt manufacturing facility in Chowchilla to expand Liquid Asphalt offerings to the Central Valley On the Cover:

Cover illustration by Aldo Myftari of Construction Marketing Services.


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, Toni Carroll, Director of Quality, Graniterock Construction Marketing Services, LLC • (909) 772-3121 P.O. Box 892977 • Temecula • CA 92589 Aldo Myftari Russell W. Snyder, CAE, CalAPA, Steve Marvin, P.E., LaBelle Marvin and 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 Quality Issue


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CalAPA’s advocacy efforts:

Focused & effective by design to deliver quality results By Russell W. Snyder


s the only statewide trade association that focuses exclusively on the interests of the asphalt pavement industry in California, CalAPA's Legislative Committee and Political Action Committee (PAC) are an integral part of the association’s overall strategy to raise awareness with elected officials, regulators and other policy-shapers of the need to preserve and enhance the state’s vital road transportation infrastructure, and the essential role the industry plays in that effort. Alone and in partnership with others, CalAPA has carved out a prominent role in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. as a staunch advocate for prudent investments in the state’s pavement assets, and helping policymakers understand the critical link between good roads and the state’s economy and quality of life. CalAPA's PAC supports efforts to educate lawmakers about the industry, its commitment to local communities and sustainability, and the difficulties posed by onerous and ill-conceived regulations. CalAPA’s demonstrated effectiveness is not by accident. The association has developed and refined a clear strategy built upon strong communications, member engagement, leveraging media, technology and other tools to amplify the association’s message, and building strong alliances with likeminded partners. Focus is also essential to the association’s success. The association zeroes in on asphalt-related issues only, so messaging is not diluted. Similarly, the association targets key elected officials where impact is likely to be 8

greatest, such as the members of various transportation committees in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. “Hands-on and up close” is a common theme characterizing all of CalAPA’s legislative activities. The CalAPA PAC sponsors plant tours and other informational events, which encourages lawmakers to see for themselves what happens, and doesn’t happen, at an asphalt plant. The tours help debunk popular myths about the industry while showcasing the many sustainable and economic-boosting attributes of asphalt pavements. Environmental controls and monitoring are prominently featured at these tours, as well as recycling operations. Many lawmakers are surprised to learn, for example, that asphalt is the world’s most recycled product. CalAPA also relies on in-person meetings with elected officials in their offices or their districts. Sometimes the meetings are part of organized “Fly-in” events in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. The association develops schedules of meetings, talking points and

other briefing materials, and “leavebehinds” to reinforce the key messages to be conveyed. The personal touch is also in effect – all legislators are sent hand-written thank-you notes expressing appreciation to them for making time to learn about asphalt and the asphalt industry. CalAPA’s Code of Ethics is always prominently featured in all association communications. "CalAPA organizes a very effective and professional legislative event and I always make sure I am available to attend,” said Crystal Howard with Crystal Waters Consulting, a regular Fly-in participant. “They brief attendees on which legislators we will visit and present an organized agenda. Members are familiar with who we will meet with and what message is best to convey in support of the industry. We always meet with the member as opposed to staff, which is a huge benefit and speaks to the well-organized event. I appreciate the experience each year and find it extremely beneficial for the industry.” At the nation’s Capitol, CalAPA coordinates closely with the National Asphalt Pavement Association to ensure messaging is consistent and complementary, with a special emphasis on home districts in California. Some years, meetings in Washington are made up exclusively of CalAPA members, while in others, like-minded coalition partners are invited along. “I loved the experience of being able to join CalAPA in D.C.,” said Denise Cooper, president & CEO of Cooper Engineering Inc.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

“It wasn’t about promoting asphalt vs. concrete, it was about promoting infrastructure, and trained and skilled union jobs! Being able to walk through the halls and into representatives’ offices was a great experience, something I think everyone would benefit from if they had the chance.” CalAPA is represented in Sacramento by the advocacy firm of Carpenter Sievers, LLC. The team that specializes in asphalt-related issues is led by Jeff Sievers and includes Greg Hurner and Norlyn Asprec. The firm was recently named by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the Top 25 lobbying firms at the Capitol. “Our focus is our strength,” Sievers said in a recent interview with California Asphalt magazine. “Legislators turn to us as experts on these issues that impact asphalt. They are reaching out to us to make sure we support, or don’t oppose, their bills.” In the chaotic world of Capitol legislating and politics, Sievers likes to say, CalAPA is “punching above its weight” and has carved out a reputation as a credible source of information and insight into asphalt pavements in particular, and transportation infrastructure issues in general. “Our focus is on asphalt-specific issues, and that provides us with a lot of credibility with chairs of

the committees, members of the Legislature and staff,” Sievers said. “When we come in to talk about an issue, they listen.” The association produces regular scorecards of legislation it is tracking and engaging with, and generally the reports are favorable when legislative sessions come to an end. Identifying problematic bills early, and engaging legislators and stakeholders early, is another hallmark of the CalAPA legislative strategy. “Being on the front end of legislation before it’s law is critical,” observed Scott Metcalf with Ergon Asphalt & Emulsion, another longtime Legislative Committee participant. “As we have seen in the past legislation can morph in Sacramento faster than a monarch butterfly. As my father always said, ‘the Devil is in the details,’ and the law is all about details. Unintended consequences are a byproduct for those not involved.” CalAPA’s approach is memberdriven, soliciting member input on issues and legislation, and turning that input into positions that are vetted by the Board of Directors and deployed by members and the association’s advocates. The association places a premium on keeping members apprised of the political landscape and strategies being utilized to represent the industry’s best interests.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

The California delegation meets with U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., at his U.S. Capitol Office on May 30, 2012. Pictured, from left to right: Alan Wessel, Brian Dowd, Brian Anderson, Len Nawrocki and Brian Handshoe.

Current CalAPA Legislative Committee Chairman Steve Ward with Pavement Recycling Systems has seen CalAPA’s advocacy efforts up close in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. for many years, and gives the association high marks for its member-centric focus and for delivering results. “I have participated with the CalAPA legislative advocacy efforts for quite a few years now and I have found it to be one of, if not the most member-inclusive efforts that I have ever participated in; and that is saying a lot as I represent PRS Holdings to well over a dozen trade and ESOP associations and commissions as its Government & Industry Liaison,” Ward said recently. “CalAPA has always remained focused on its mission to drive legislation that has positive effect on the asphalt Industry or oppose legislation and regulation that has adverse effect on its member companies, and is diligent about seeking direction from its members and the issues that matter most to them.” “The association also does a thorough job in keeping its members informed on legislation and 9

Rene Vercruyssen with Knife River (left) meets with U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-CA, in his district in 2015.

regulations coming from both Sacramento and Washington D.C that may affect them,” Ward added. “I strongly encourage all members to become as involved as possible with the CalAPA Legislative Committee and its efforts. They welcome your input or opinions, and remember, ‘The company you help may just be your own!’” Immediate past Legislative Committee Chairman Rene Vercruyssen with Knife River Construction offered a similar assessment. “CalAPA has been instrumental in representing the asphalt pavement industry over the decades in the halls of government. Its support of the road revenue-generating SB1 in 2017, and its protection through helping to defeat Prop. 6 in 2018, was necessary to unify our industry behind a must-achieve critical success factor for our industry — securing additional new road dollars for years,” Vercruyssen said. CalAPA and its members contributed more than $6 million to the “No on Prop. 6” campaign, and the association was recognized for its efforts by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who had signed SB1 into law and viewed it as one of the signature accomplishments of his administration. The governor invited 10

Above left: Gavin Newsom was the keynote speaker at the CalAPA Annual Dinner at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 2015. Above right: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered a special video message to the CalAPA Annual Dinner attendees on Jan. 16, 2020.

CalAPA members to a special dinner at the Governor’s Mansion in downtown Sacramento in 2018 to personally express his appreciation. Brown’s successor as governor, Gavin Newsom, spoke at CalAPA’s annual dinner in 2015 when he launched his campaign to be the state’s top elected official, and later that year toured an asphalt plant in San Diego County, even donning a hard hat over his famously coiffed locks. On each occasion, CalAPA members spoke clearly and forcefully to Newsom about issues important to the asphalt industry. “CalAPA’s bold and straightforward approach to communication of the issues of paramount importance to the success of the asphalt paving industry in California has significantly reframed the narrative for the better,” Vercruyssen observed. “Prior to our messaging, politicians were getting away with ambiguous jargon denoting their support of ‘transportation.’ Those of us in the trenches have come to learn that transportation became code for ‘anything but roads.’ But our association doesn’t let that slippery word carry the day — politicians are now required to say they support roads if they are trying to convey support for our industry.

There is no other state association holding leaders’ feet to the fire over supporting road maintenance and construction with the tenacity and clarity as CalAPA.” Mike Herlax, a past CalAPA chairman and longtime Legislative Committee participant, has a passion for advocating for the industry that extends well beyond the Capitol. In 2018, during the heat of the Proposition 6 gas-tax repeal campaign, he jumped out of his truck in Napa to confront sign-waving “Yes on 6” protesters. He made sure they were aware of the roads and bridges that would be fixed in their community with SB1 funds. His arguments didn’t seem to change any minds that day, but Proposition 6 was soundly defeated at the ballot box that November. “I think we’ve done a fantastic job, especially since we brought Jeff Sievers on board,” Herlax said. “Our fly-ins are very beneficial. We get to talk directly to the important people that impact our industry, and it’s gone a long way to improve legislation that’s been passed to date. “We have a lot of technical expertise at CalAPA and that goes a great distance with providing [ Continued on page 12 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue


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CalAPA Executive Director Russell Snyder and Gov. Jerry Brown at the Governor’s Mansion on Aug. 9, 2018. [ Continued from page 10 ]

our legislators a perspective on the problems we are dealing with and the solutions we are looking to moving forward,” Herlax said. “There is a lot of prep time, coming from staff, that really helps us understand how we can be most effective when we are meeting with legislators to communicate our positions and get our problems solved. That’s a huge benefit for the members to have staff members who can educate us on the politics and the nuances that we are dealing with.” The COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted how CalAPA engages with elected officials, but its advocacy mission and activities have not been diminished. The association continues to organize events where elected officials can learn first-hand about the industry. Frequently those events have been at asphalt plants, but sometimes other venues also offer opportunities for quality interactions. On Aug. 27, for example, CalAPA helped organize a tour of the Caltrans-industry Joint Training & Certification Program at San Jose State University where SB1 author Jim Beall, D-San Jose, was the guest of honor. Beall, now retired from the Legislature, was joined by Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, and Democratic members of the Assembly, Ash Kalra and Alex 12

State Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, author of SB1, meet with CalAPA members on March 14, 2018 in his Capitol office. Pictured, from left, Steve Ward with Pavement Recycling Systems; Brian Handshoe with Kenco Engineering; Scott Dmytrow with Telfer Oil; Beall; Jim Ryan with Alon and Mike Herlax with Lehigh Hanson. Beall is holding the special “SB1 – Fixing YOUR Roads” bumper stickers the association distributed as part of its successful campaign to promote SB1 and defeat Proposition 6 that would have repealed the fuel taxes that are part of the measure.

Lee, both of whom sit on the Assembly Transportation Committee. A story about that event appears elsewhere in this issue of California Asphalt magazine. Following the event Beall said. “I commend the persistence and dedication of CalAPA members for working closely with me and other members of the Legislature for many years to get SB1 passed, and then to defend it at the ballot box. Accountability is a key feature of SB1 and CalAPA has always advocated for working collaboratively with state and local agencies to deliver highquality road improvements that are sustainable and a good value for the taxpayer. SB1 was a backlog catch-up measure with over $20

A “zoom” meeting held in Aug. 31, 2021 with state Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore (bottom left) and CalAPA Executive Director Russell Snyder (upper right), Brian Handshoe with Kenco Engineering (bottom right) and meeting organizer Stephanie Nelan.

billion of highway resurfacing work and at least the same amount on local roads. We had to support this or it would get much worse and expensive.” Beall also attended CalAPA’s Fall Asphalt Pavement Conference in 2017 to personally thank CalAPA members for supporting SB1. “This was very difficult and I have to applaud this community,” he said at the time. “You were wonderful. You did a great job helping us. We appreciate it. The Legislature appreciates everything you’re saying.” Assemblyman Jim Frazier, the longtime Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman and SB1 floor manager in the Assembly, also recognized the contribution of CalAPA members. In a 2020 interview with California Asphalt magazine, he noted simply, “Your industry and I partnered on that.” CalAPA’s advocacy efforts have attracted national notice and are an integral part of the legislative strategy of the National Asphalt Pavement Association. NAPA’s president and CEO, Audrey Copeland, described CalAPA as “a trusted partner of NAPA” and added that “we rely on CalAPA’s established network of members and stakeholders across California in order to communicate issues and opportunities of national

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA (center) receives the “Asphalt Legislator of the Year” award from the asphalt pavement industry at an event on Sept. 11, 2013 at the U.S. Capitol. Pictured, from left to right: CalAPA Executive Director Russell Snyder; Frank Coakley, Vice President, ATP General Engineering Contractors; Don L. Daley III, owner, DIII Transport; John Keating, Vice President and COO of Oldcastle Materials and a National Asphalt Pavement Association officer; Boxer, Brian Handshoe, Vice President, Kenco Engineering; NAPA President and CEO Mike Acott and Len Nawrocki with Valero Marketing & Supply.

importance.” This collaboration, she noted, goes back many years. CalAPA and other state asphalt associations also contribute to pooled funds that help underwrite the work of federal lobbyists promoting infrastructure funding and protecting asphalt’s market share that ultimately benefit all states, including California. “The National Asphalt Pavement Association and the California Asphalt Pavement Association have a rich history of advancing the asphalt pavement industry nationally and in California,” Copeland said. “When Senator Boxer of California was the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, CalAPA played a critical role in ensuring provisions in the MAP-21 legislation did not tip the playing field toward a specific material, such as concrete, used in pavements. This resulted in NAPA, on behalf of the asphalt pavement industry, awarding Senator Boxer with the 2013 Legislature of the Year award. The members of CalAPA have participated in nearly every Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In, making the case in support of Federal highway

funding. NAPA’s Government Affairs team notes that they have worked closely with CalAPA, probably more so than any other state association.” This year, NAPA and CalAPA have ramped up advocacy efforts in support of a major federal infrastructure bill that could mean billions of additional funding for California. The Golden State has the largest delegation in Congress, with 53 members of the House of Representatives and two senators, including one, Alex Padilla, who followed Boxer on to the Senate’s Environment & Public Works Committee. When the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) passed the Senate earlier this year, Padilla recognized CalAPA’s active role in advocating for the bill by issuing the following statement directed to CalAPA members: “Poorly maintained roads cost motorists hundreds of dollars a year in fuel economy and car maintenance. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help alleviate these costs and help eliminate time wasted idling in congestion by funding much-needed road repairs across the country. This bill will also create

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

millions of good-paying, union jobs and rebuild our infrastructure to benefit all Californians.” More recently, CalAPA has been communicating directly to all California House members of the importance of passing the federal infrastructure bill that has already cleared the Senate. CalAPA sent a letter to every member pressing them on the urgent need to pass the infrastructure bill now. “Investing in infrastructure remains a transformational opportunity for Congress to improve the nation’s economy, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and build for the future,” the CalAPA letter said. “The 180 companies that make up the California Asphalt Pavement Association urge you to support H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) when the legislation is voted on later this September. “The bipartisan IIJA,” the letter continued, “was approved by the Senate 69 to 30 and calls for historic and overdue investments to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. We applaud Congress for also recognizing the need to invest in all forms of physical infrastructure. 13

The IIJA includes investments in rail, water, port, airport, energy, and broadband would further enable additional capital improvements and economic benefits across our state. The core of the bill, a five-year surface transportation program reauthorization, would increase federal highway and public transportation investments in California, enabling long-term projects to move forward and maintenance backlogs to be addressed. The bill also pursues important environmental review and approval process reforms, protecting infrastructure assets from future natural disasters, while preserving state flexibility.” CalAPA has also leveraged its strong brand identity and credibility with the news media to be featured as a subject-matter expert in numerous pavement-related articles that have appeared in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News and Sacramento Business Journal, as well as local TV news outlets. Leveraging the news media helps amplify CalAPA’s messaging across California and even nationally. The Wall Street Journal newspaper, with a national circulation of about 2.8 million, published a commentary in July authored by CalAPA on infrastructure funding that appeared alongside one by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. In the commentary CalAPA wrote: “We’re protecting and enhancing the Interstate Highway System we have inherited. We’re not focused so much on boosting productivity as keeping a decrepit system from strangling productivity. Filling potholes is about so much more than driver comfort. Rough roads cost motorists in car repairs, accidents and lost fuel economy. Add to that lost productivity from congestion and the financial impact soars. Federal investment in our roads and bridges have stagnated since the early 1990s, and the system has suffered. 14

Members of the CalAPA delegation meet with Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, in his office on March 3, 2019. Pictured, from left: Gary Houston with Valero Marketing & Supply; Brian Handshoe with Kenco Engineering; Jordan Reed with George Reed Inc.; Fong; Toni Carroll with Graniterock; Richard Champion with CEI and Scott Metcalf with Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions.

Reconstruction of deteriorated pavements can cost 10 times more than routine maintenance. “Good roads benefit us all. Even if you don’t drive, you receive goods that move about on this amazing system that stretches from your curb to every corner of this great land. Investment is long overdue. Our parents and grandparents understood this and created this pay-as-you-go system, financed largely through fuel taxes. Now it’s our turn to come up with a way to pay for the upkeep of the system for future generations.” The publication of the letter prompted the following reaction from NAPA Chairman Jay Winford: “Great letter! I felt so proud when I saw this in yesterday’s Journal.” On federal issues, CalAPA works in close coordination with the NAPA. On other issues, CalAPA has built strong alliances with other like-minded groups in the state to advocate on issues that have mutual benefit. One of those entities is Transportation California, a coalition of organizations that support reasonable investments in transportation, as well as accountability on how those funds are utilized. “Transportation California’s collaborative working relationship with the California Asphalt Pavement Association is very beneficial,” said

Transportation California Executive Director Kiana Valentine. “At minimum, the information sharing between organizations has enabled Transportation California to fulfil its mission in a more timely and responsive way. With more industry association staff ‘in the field’ working with the state and local agencies, we learn of potential policy or funding problems faster and can more quickly get to work to resolve issues.” Sometimes the urgency of the issue drives the engagement. “Over the years the industry has had to employ an all-hands-ondeck strategy on a variety of policy initiatives, including the passage of SB 1 – the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – and the defeat of Proposition 6 in November 2018 that sought to repeal SB 1,” Valentine said. “This relationship will continue to serve the industry well as we collectively advocate on industry issues ranging from accountable and transparent expenditure of transportation funding, maximizing efficiencies in project delivery, protecting transportation funding during state budget crises such as the current COVID-19 induced recession, to meeting the state’s climate goals from the transportation sector, just to name a few.” [ Continued on page 16 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

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Left: Joining Gavin Newsom for a tour of an asphalt plant in San Diego County on Aug. 20, 2015 are, from left: Tony Grasso with CalAPA; Len Nawrocki with Valero Marketing & Supply; John Greenwood with Skanska; Don L. Daley III with DIII Transport; Newsom; and Don L. Daley Jr. with California Commercial Asphalt.

[ Continued from page 14 ]

Working with regional entities also helps amplify CalAPA messaging and priorities across the state. One such organization is the Los Angeles County Business Federation, known as BizFed. “CalAPA has been an integral part in our advocacy. Always dependable, CalAPA has testified at a number of hearings and has participated in important discussions as it relates to our Transportation, Energy and Environment Committee meetings,” said L.A. BizFed’s De’Andre Valencia, Chief Advocacy Officer and President of the BizFed Political Action Committee. “As the largest business advocacy organization in Southern California we work with a number of industries to advance our work and provide different perspectives to our policy needs. CalAPA always gives valuable feedback that represents their members well and gives our advocacy a boost when needed. We are grateful for the CalAPA partnership!” Oftentimes the most meaningful and indelible interactions with elected officials occurs when they are invited to visit an asphalt plant or other asphalt-related facilities, such as materials laboratories or quarries. Elected officials often recall those visits years later. 16

Dan Ridolfi with CalAPA member LaStrada Partners helped conduct one such tour in Sacramento for then-U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren, R-CA. “We found CalAPA-coordinated legislator visits to be very insightful for both parties,” Ridolfi said. “We, of course, had an opportunity to show them the challenges we regularly face and overcome to be successful in our industry. At the same time, we heard of the challenges they face and how they overcome them. The information exchanges were valuable for all parties.” Consistency, clarity and persistence is a hallmark of CalAPA’s legislative advocacy efforts going back many years. As Don L. Daley Jr., now a member of the association’s Hall of Fame, wrote in this magazine in 2017 following the passage of SB1: “Your association made transportation funding one of our top priorities in our 2012 strategic

Above: CalAPA’s Political Action Committee sponsored a tour of a Sacramento asphalt plant for members of the Assembly Transportation Committee on June 20, 2016, Pictured standing, from left: Paul Mercurio, Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian; Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell; Assemblyman Richard Bloom; Assemblyman Eric Linder (vice chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee); Assemblyman Jim Frazier (chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee); Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia; Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez; Assemblyman Kansen Chu and Will Kempton, executive director, Transportation California. In the foreground is Mike Cunningham.

plan, as well as our 2016 update. There were numerous meetings with legislators and policy-makers, plant tours, Capitol visits, grassroots activism and other activities to keep this issue at the forefront of the policy discussions in Sacramento. With all the false

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

Left: Scott Metcalf with Ergon (left) and Steve Ward with Pavement Recycling Systems pause in front of the U.S. Capitol building during the Transportation Construction Coalition "Flyin" held March 17-18, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

starts and empty promises we encountered over the years, it would have been easy to get discouraged, but we never wavered from our goal.” “We also learned valuable lessons along the way about clarity and consistency of message, and about the importance of compromise,” Daley wrote. “While the big transportation bill is far from perfect, we didn’t want to fall into the trap of allowing perfect to be the enemy of the good. The final bill emphasizes maintaining our existing infrastructure and investing in the future, and pavements are central to that goal.” “Your association was very prominent in this successful campaign, and your dues supported those efforts,” Daley concluded. “We should all be proud of what we accomplished together.” Brian Handshoe, vice president of California-based Kenco Engineering, sells asphalt wear parts across California and nationwide. Also active in NAPA, he has a unique perspective on the coordination between the two organizations on national issues, and how CalAPA is the “go-to” organization for issues in California. He is the current chairman of the CalAPA Political Action Committee, which has raised and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years in support

of candidates for elective office that have a proven track record of being fair and open-minded when deliberating on issues that impact the asphalt industry. “As we all go about our busy lives, we are constantly told that numerous things are important. Whether it be efficiency, cost savings or safety, many of these items directly impact the end result of our efforts,” Handshoe observed. “Early in my career I would have challenged someone claiming that legislative success is a critical part of my business’ success. I would have been wrong. Whether we like it or not, jobs in industries related to road construction are dependent upon small, medium and large-scale road and infrastructure projects being funded at the state and federal levels. Achieving success with this funding requires active and constructive engagement with our elected officials. “CalAPA has not only been involved in this engagement with elected officials but, in many cases, a leading voice in Sacramento assuring that elected officials understand the critical need to protect and rebuild California’s old-school infrastructure assets,” Handshoe added. “Success in our day-to-day jobs requires healthy and trusting relationships with our co-workers and customers. The same is true between California’s

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

asphalt industry and its elected officials as well as governmental agencies. “I have been lucky enough to personally witness the success of these lobbying efforts,” Handshoe said. “From the passage of SB1 in 2017 to the passage of Proposition 69 on 2018 as well as the defeat of Proposition 6 in 2018, CalAPA has engaged actively with our industry partners in presenting a unified message to our elected representatives and the people of California. That unified message gets results. “CalAPA, having spent the time, effort and money, to successfully represent the asphalt industry in the state Capital and around Sacramento, has become the ‘go to’ source for legislators looking for answers,” Handshoe said. “Effective lobbying by CalAPA and our partners has ensured that California’s asphalt industry will at least have a seat at the table when the decisions critical to our industry’s success are made.” Focus, consistency and persistence bring results. Countless CalAPA members have contributed to and can take pride in that achievement. CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association.

REFERENCES: Snyder, R. (2020) “Q&A with Assemblyman Jim Frazier.” California Asphalt Magazine, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 24, Issue 6.PP 8-18. Snyder, R. (2017) “The BIG Fix – The Inside Story of the $52 billion transportation bill” California Asphalt magazine, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 21, Issue 3, PP 8-21.


CalAPA members, elected officials gather in San Jose to celebrate innovative Caltrans-industry Joint Training & Certification Program

By Russell W. Snyder


alAPA members joined members of the Legislature and various university and transportation luminaries for an event to highlight the successful Caltrans-industry Joint Training & Certification Program for materials technicians, which has surpassed 3,000 technicians trained statewide. Former Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, author of the landmark state transportation funding bill known as SB1, was the guest of honor at the event, and he noted the strong connection between the program and the job creation and accountability features of SB1. The Aug. 27 event was initiated by CalAPA and the association's Legislative Committee in coordination with Caltrans and CSULB and SJSU officials. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” Beall said. “If we can be more efficient and effective, we’re going to complete the work that we need to have done for our fellow Californians.” Beall was joined by state Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose and Assemblymembers Alex Lee and Ash Kalra, both Democrats who represent parts of the Silicon Valley. Cortese is a member of the Senate Transportation Committee who was elected to Beall's seat last year upon Beall's retirement due to term limits, and Lee and Kalra are newly minted members of the Assembly Transportation Committee.


Above: Tracy Zubek with DeSilva Gates Matierals (standing), speaks at an event held Aug. 27, 2021 at San Jose State University to highlight the Caltrans-industry Joint Training & Certification Program. Seated at his left is JTCP program manager Richard Hibbard with Caltrans, and seated at his right is Toni Carroll with Graniterock. Former Sen. Jim Beall is at the far right.

Representing industry were CalAPA members Toni Carroll with Graniterock, currently CalAPA's vice chair, Tracy Zubek with DeSilva Gates Materials, who serves in a leadership capacity on the CalAPA Technical Advisory Committee and also the JTCP Technical Advisory Board, and Chris Gerber with G3 Quality, whose firm operates materials testing labs in California and also provides engineering consulting services. Other industry representatives included Steve Ward with Pavement Recycling Systems, chair of the CalAPA Legislative Committee, and Brian Handshoe with Kenco Engineering, who is chair of the CalAPA Political Action Committee. Beall recognized the contributions of the industry representatives in the years-long effort to get SB1, the Road Repair & Accountability Act of 2017, through the Legislature, and

then to defend it at the ballot box when it faced a repeal initiative in 2018. SB1 generates more than $5 billion per year for road and bridge maintenance for local and state routes, plus funds research at San Jose State University and at other California institutions intended to drive innovation in transportation. The Joint Training & Certification Program (JTCP) is overseen by Caltrans and managed by California State University, Long Beach, and classes are held at CSULB as well as on the campus of San Jose State University. The speakers at the event praised the innovative program for setting the model for government-industry-academia collaboration and accountability, boosting work force development and saving tax dollars. “It supports workforce development and provides an opportunity for our historically

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

Left: Chris Gerber with G3 Quality (standing) speaks at an event held Aug. 27, 2021 at San Jose State University to highlight the Caltrans-industry Joint Training & Certification Program. Seated at his right is Caltrans State Materials Engineer Tim Greutert, and seated at his left is Steve Ward with Pavement Recycling Systems, the CalAPA Legislative Committee Chair.

Below left: Toni Carroll with Graniterock, Tracy Zubek with DeSilva Gates Materials and Brian Handshoe with Kenco Engineering (left to right). Middle: Tracy Zubek with DeSilva Gates Materials (left) speaks with Assemblyman Alex Lee (right) as the assemblymember’s district director, Anuraag Pal (center) listens. Right: Former Sen. Jim Beall (left) speaks to (from left) Tracy Zubek with DeSilva Gates Materials, Chris Gerber with G3 Quality, Jeremy Peterson-Self with Caltrans and Tim Greutert with Caltrans.

under-served groups to have a career in the construction industry,” noted CSULB Dean of Engineering Jinny Rhee. “It gives our students real-world experience and helps them get ready for the job market. We’ve developed curriculum and laboratories at both campuses to support this program. We worked through the pandemic. We have trained and certified over 3,000 technicians who are working all over the state of California, which is something that rightly deserves to be celebrated. I’m thrilled that Cal State Long Beach can collaborate in this way in such an impactful project.” Caltrans State Materials Engineer Tim Greutert zeroed in on the “accountability, jobs and collaboration” aspects of the JTCP. “So now we have these folks from industry and government learning side-by-side on how to

run these tests and now we are seeing fewer of those disparities, those disagreements on how the test was run,” Greutert said. “We are well-positioned to bring value and keep those projects moving forward. From my perspective, that’s a tangible benefit. This is such an exciting and rewarding program. For me it is the most exciting thing I have been involved in my career and it is a model for others to follow.” The industry representatives underscored the many benefits of the program that have proven to be far-reaching. “What’s come out of it is more than just training our people and adding that value to our workforce, which is huge in itself,” Graniterock's Carroll said. “But the collaboration between all of our teams, as well as academia, and getting everyone involved, has been incredible.”

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

“The bottom line,” added Zubek from DeSilva Gates, “is we all want quality roads. We also want quality testing, because if there is not quality testing, that causes a problem, the job gets shut down and now we’re impacting the public.” “These complex procedures are so critical to the success of all projects,” G3 Quality's Gerber said. “With all of the work that’s here in California, we are here to ensure the quality of those materials and products. This program has been so successful. As a private citizen and business owner, getting our staff trained and certified to the same standards as everyone else in the state is something I want to see.” The program was kicked off by SJSU President Mary Papazian, and Mohamed Abousalem, vice president for Research & Innovation at SJSU. Program manager Shadi 19

Saadeh, professor of civil engineering at CSULB and the JTCP project manager, conducted a lab tour along with Akthem Al-Manaseer, SJSU professor of engineering and JTCP manager for the San Jose campus. Also on hand were the Caltrans JTCP Contract Manager, Richard Hibbard, and previous JTCP contract manager, Jeremy Peterson-Self, both of Caltrans' Materials Engineering & Technical

Services. During the lab tour, participants in a Hot Mix Asphalt class were taking final hands-on exams on various test methods under the watchful eye of JTCP instructors and Caltrans personnel. Other luminaries on hand for the event included Karen Philbrick, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute, and Will Kempton, former Caltrans director and now chairman of the Board

of Trustees at the Maneta Transportation Institute. “The Caltrans-Industry Joint Training and Certification Program offers a great opportunity to bring public agencies and industry together with academia in a collaborative approach to research, develop and implement innovative material improvements for highway construction and rehabilitation,” Kempton told California Asphalt magazine following the event. Laura Sullivan-Green, Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Program at SJSU, closed out the event by saying, “The JTCP program is so simple yet it is so innovative and groundbreaking. Projects like that are what create the best engineering works.” “As someone whose research is related to forensic engineering, primarily learning from failures, many of which we know come from either poor materials or poor material placement, seeing something like this really hits home,” she added. “Our Civil Engineering program has really benefited from this program. And I think the No. 1 thing that comes from this is our students seeing the kind of industry, government, academic partnerships that can focus on good work. And when they graduate, they can become partners in this work.” Added Sheryl H. Ehrman, Dean of Engineering at SJSU: “We graduate California’s workforce. And we want to graduate them loving this kind of partnership.” Following the event, Beall had this to say: “Accountability is a key feature of SB1 and CalAPA has always advocated for working collaboratively with state and local agencies to deliver high-quality road improvements that are sustainable and a good value for the taxpayer.” CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue




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By Steve Marvin


hen did we abandon the very principles that make asphalt concrete the paving material of choice? Workable, durable, economical, smooth and quiet have been abandoned in favor of computerized solutions with recycling at any cost, incrementally moving through various shades of grey and losing sight of reasonableness. Picture puzzles rely on piece-by-piece interlocking. If the pieces do not stay together, the puzzle does not serve its purpose. Glue relies on being sticky, whether conventional glue, super glue, or hot glue. No stick, no good. Who even remembers LePage’s simple mucilage gum Arabic glue? Who will remember properly blended and performing asphalt pavements? MacAdam pavement relied on aggregate interlocking with careful selection and placement of stone sizes and layers. The original MacAdam pavements did not include asphalt binder. Asphalt cement was added for adhesive and surface durability


properties. The principles of binder softening point and consistency (stickiness) ruled. The relationship of binder and aggregate volume was understood even at the turn of the 20th century. Asphalt concrete principles found in the 1909 publication of City Roads and Pavements by Wm. Pierson Judson are as true today as they were over 100 years ago. Asphalt binders are derived from petroleum and modified for use through emulsification, blending, distillation and for roofing, artificial air blown aging techniques. The accelerated aging process makes binder brittle as can be readily seen where roofers use axes to break off chunks prior to placing into the kettle. The air blowing process increases the softening point above the 140F threshold we utilize as a rolling benchmark in the paving industry. Asphalt concrete roadway pavement “science” was refined through time, understanding aggregate angularity combined with use of non-binding materials such as sand to enhance workability, control the voids within and around the aggregate for binder space, etc. While no specific measure of sticky was selected, ductility and penetration provided a rapid measure of

identifying the transition from “sticky” to glass bound (nonsticky) conditions. Recognizing some areas in the country lack economical aggregate sources and/or waste stream diversion concerns, attempts at aggregate substitution have included use of crushed glass, sea shells, crushed toilets, and expanded shale, etc. These various materials ultimately were abandoned as being non-durable. Other aggregate substitution included chunks of vehicles tires and industry slag which proved unworkable. Additional mixture modifications have included use of asbestos, fiberglass and aramid fibers. Reuse or recycling started at a rate of 5% or less, creeping up in increments to 25% or more and have included waste from automobile wrecking yards and railroad yards along with recycled asphalt pavement. Crushed Portland Cement Concrete, and building waste including roofing materials, are now considered for use in asphalt concrete. The roofing source use also includes materials generated during roofing production. Materials unsuitable for roofing use find their way into our product, our lifeline.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

We have been subjected over time to an onslaught of binder types and blends including unrefined natural asphalt materials with sand and mineral contaminants (Trinidad asphalt), binders with various types and sizes of ground rubber, latexes/polymer binder modification, refinery sourced rubber modified binders, melted plastics from bottles and such, melted Sulphur, etc. Binder grades have multiplied from the five primary grades during the penetration and viscosity grading systems era to more than 30 current primary categories. While there are now countless subcategories, generally two or three and certainly less than five grades are used in any given region. The binder forward specification process has become so complex, understanding even the basic principles requires constant attention and re-education. Confusion now reigns supreme. Enter here the smaller agencies, the developers and property owners and the typical paving contractor, unsuspectingly ordering an historical standby “state ½-inch mix” and getting a blend of recycled asphalt concrete, roofing tear offs and building waste materials along with asphalt binder substitution and virgin binder reduction. The mixture is generally more difficult to handle, distribute, rake and/or smooth. Workability is impacted, becoming stiffer at a higher temperature than has been traditionally experienced. Hand work, tapers, joints and the finish surface appearance suffer. The apparent decrease in “sticky” results in dramatic changes in character with changes in compaction. Traditional compaction

SUGAR AND SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE AGENCY/ROADWAY AND AIRFIELD PAVING • Longitudinal joints parallel to the direction of travel • Longitudinal joints confined to the region of lane lines • Crown locations parallel to and extending along the direction of travel • Paving widths defined in uniform 12’ to 14’ widths • Uniform frontage improvements Defined gutter lip elevations • Grade breaks perpendicular and square to the direction of travel • Minimum 1.7% cross slopes Cross slopes often 2% to nearly 5% • Uniform and moderate vertical curves • Extended paving lengths permitting development of paving train of materials, paving machine and full complement of rollers • Uniform production under these conditions • Limited hand work • Absence of tapers and overlaps due to width changes • Defined compaction requirements • Firm and unyielding is the rule rather than the exception • Project specific asphalt mixture selection based on performance • Educated observers familiar with differing mixtures and textures • Paving schedule modified based on weather • Public inspection at travel speeds of 35 to 80 mph • Pavement subject only to rolling loads • Exceptions PCC spandrels at some intersections • Some frequency on City streets • Very limited on Caltrans work • Non-existent on airfields Right and left turn lanes/pockets • May isolate one or more rollers form tasks at hand • Some tapers and overlap particularly at beginning of turn pocket • Potential roller delays awaiting completion of adjacent mainline paving • Each of these exceptions constitute a very minor percentage of the total project and inspectors/engineers make concessions in these areas when possible

SNIPS AND SNAILS AND PUPPY DOGS’ TAILS PRIVATE PAVING • Everything public paving is, private paving is not • Parking lots Configuration layout based on some circulation concept, often quite intricate Recent attempts at making the parking lots inaccessible to truck and recreational vehicles, also makes them all the more difficult to pave • Exceptional paving width variability Required partial screed width pulls, overlaps, starving one side of paver, etc.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue


techniques are not effective, as the material does not tuck under the roller and joints do not blend. Soon after paving, raveling and cracking occur. While these may be acceptable trade-off issues to Federal Agencies, Caltrans and other larger risk vs. benefit agencies, smaller agencies along with property owners, developers and contractors are unprepared to pay the price. Observations while driving through the region note roadways paved within the past five years are exhibiting extensive cracking, raveling, development of potholes and other poor performance characteristics. The drive to provide unreasonable smoothness has contributed to the excessive use of pavement grinding, impacting surface durability and presenting a distressed appearance. The limited film thicknesses afforded by the decreased virgin binder mixtures and loss of the surface through milling is all the more critical exposing the entire pavement layer to rapid deterioration. In our effort to be good stewards of the environment, we are now providing a material that is low on binder, high on initial strength and very low on the appearance and durability scale. We are now our own worst enemy. The contractors can no longer trust or understand what is being done to the mixes they are forced to purchase. The pavement owners are suffering as pavements fail before they should, and the public sees traffic delays, vehicle damage, and failure of newly paved roadways. It’s time for quality and durability to be bought back into the forefront of the conversation. CA Steve Marvin, P.E., is president of LaBelle Marvin, Inc., a full-service civil engineering firm headquartered in Santa Ana.


• Valley gutters and cross gutters askew at every conceivable location and angle • Crown location based on site geometry as interpreted by designer and has no relationship to required direction of paving • Grade breaks at various angles and locations across the site • Sharp angles and vertical curves • Tight radii for paving around island noses, curb returns, etc. • Limited pavement slope, most often approaching 1% Contributes to ponding, warping of surface grades (hand work) and eventually unsightly skin patches • Variable sections in parking stalls and various drives often in widths or locations requiring again partial width paving or attempted placement of multiple thickness in single pull • Isolated parking stalls dictating hand placement and required variation in roller types and timing • Limited length parking bays resulting in hand placement at each end, often with skip loader to start and excess materials left by paving machine to be moved by hand Hand placement changes texture Hand placement delays rolling Curb details prevent use of uniform roller types and timing • Pressure to pave over yielding grade • Confined thickness between variable frontage improvements including 3/8” lip at gutter, zero lip at handicap ramps and storefronts 4” and 6” curb faces • Variable placement rates based on location within site and complexity of placement most often leads to starting and stopping, waiting, standing loads, etc. • Paving schedule dictated by general contractor, bank or owner • Construction over cracked and filed pavements • Depth of deign out repairs defined by existing thickness versus need • Lack of concept of truck use versus automobiles on pavements • Front store deliveries in areas not even considered or designed for truck use • Forklift use on pavements – solid and pneumatic tires • Construction material storage on pavements • Crane and high lift truck use on pavements • Sharp turning movements, standing power steering damage Exacerbated by need for contractor to use sandier mixture to gain acceptance by owner • General project layout results in scatter of equipment and personnel working around islands, valley gutters, parking bays • Immediate pavement sealing, preventing any reasonable aging of pavement to resists surface shear – required by owner/architect • Striping within hours of paving or sealing • Mixture selection based on appearance • Inspection by owner or HOA representative at walking speed Often unfamiliar with asphalt work without knowledge of the type of asphalt concrete used, etc.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue




n one level, asphalt pavements are pretty straightforward. They are made up of about 95% crushed rock and sand, and about 5% “binder,” the black, sticky stuff to hold it all together. Mixed properly, and placed and compacted to exacting standards, asphalt pavements provide the owner many years of reliable service at an economical cost. Quality? Old-school pavers talk fondly of the “coffee test” – driving along a freshly paved asphalt road with a cup of hot coffee in one hand. If it doesn’t spill, it’s a job well done. And then there’s the mix properties. “If it’s hot, and black, it’s good” was another old-school refrain. Today’s asphalt, of course, is far removed from these descriptions of yore. Designed to exacting standards, there are a myriad of highly technical testing equipment designed to make sure the asphalt mix conforms to specifications so there is assurance customers are getting what they are paying for. Then there’s field testing, including nuclear gauges and core samples, run through a Hamburg Wheel Track device to simulate years of traffic loading and provide further confidence that the pavement will be longlasting. Traditionally, that has been the primary focus of our industry: making pavements that are smooth, durable and a good value for the customer.


In recent years, however, the customer has introduced some new requirements to help meet other goals far removed from pavement performance. In California, environmental consciousness is top of mind, and public agencies are increasingly looking to our industry to help solve other problems they face. Take, for example, the problem of finding a home for our waste materials. Specifically, everyone has seen those mountains of used auto and truck tires that are an eyesore at minimum, and could become an environmental catastrophe if put to flame, burning for years. Responding to this challenge our industry has stepped up with the use of Rubberized Hot Mix Asphalt (RHMA), which incorporates ground rubber from discarded tires into asphalt pavement mixes, resulting in a smooth and durable ride that stands up to harsh elements. Similarly, California has pushed recycling for many years as a more sustainable approach to dealing with finite resources and dwindling landfill space and aggregate resources in the state. Once again, the asphalt pavement industry has responded, incorporating reclaimed asphalt from rehabilitated roads back into mixes with spectacular results. In no time asphalt has become the world’s most recycled product, and earned the industry kudos far and wide.

Emissions from plant operations has been another issue of concern for communities and the elected officials who represent them. Working closely with regulators, the industry has promoted the implementation of numerous innovations to reduce emissions from plants and even utilize warm Mix Asphalt technologies to lower the temperature of asphalt production, further reducing emissions. More recently, public agencies have approached our industry about incorporating recycled plastic into asphalt mixes. Once again, our industry is being asked to solve a problem unrelated to what we do, in this case find a home for discarded plastic bottles and other waste. And once again, we are studying the issue closely to see if it is feasible and will not compromise the integrity of our product. In each case, our industry is responding to the needs of the communities in which we live and work. We are working closely with our customers, either public entities or private establishments, to meet their needs. Listening to the customer, and delivering what they want, is a proven success strategy for any business, and the asphalt industry is no different. CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive Director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

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Catching up with Graniterock and their continuing evolution of industry-leading, quality, sustainable business practices By Brian Hoover


raniterock is a family-owned construction company founded by Arthur R. Wilson 121 years ago when he discovered a vein of hard rock on the San Andreas Fault near Aromas in San Benito County. Graniterock continues to mine construction aggregates from the Wilson Quarry today, producing a long list of quality aggregates as well as hot mix asphalt, recycled asphalt and ready-mix concrete throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This centennial-plus company takes pride in its nearly 1,000 team members and the core values Wilson laid the groundwork for decades ago. In addition to producing construction aggregates and materials, Graniterock’s industry28

leading construction division is known for high-profile interstate paving projects, as well as grading, excavating, cold-in-place recycling, milling, concrete finish and underground utility work. Graniterock operates a transportation division with a fleet of 30-plus bottom dumps, super 10s and end dumps and rail service for shipping aggregates throughout California. Aggregate & Construction Materials Divisions Graniterock’s Aggregate Division mines materials from the flagship Wilson Quarry, two sand quarries in Santa Cruz County and another smaller mine in San Benito County. Premium construction materials have been the heart of Graniterock

Above: Graniterock headquarters is located near Highway 1 in Watsonville. In 2013, the Construction Division performed an asphalt overlay for Caltrans on Highway 1 from Watsonville to Aptos, which passed in front of their office.

from the start. The company offers a range of coarse and fine aggregates. From all types of sand, clay, and drain rock, to Class 2 base, and pea gravel, Graniterock quarries reflect the company’s standards in quality and customer service. Graniterock offers road materials for a variety of infrastructure projects. The company opened the first hot mix asphalt plant in California in 1935. Since then, Graniterock has provided HMA, reclaimed asphalt (RAP), road oils

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

Left: Graniterock's giant spreader machine casts overburden material on the backside of the A.R. Wilson Quarry.

Captions need

Below far left: The company’s hot mix asphalt plant in Redwood City is an ideal location for supplying materials for paving projects at the nearby San Francisco International Airport. Below right: Loader feeds aggregates to the HMA plant in Redwood City, which is the busiest of Graniterock’s five asphalt plants.

and emulsions and other products like Granitepatch™. Graniterock also provides ready-mix concrete with over 1,000 mix designs. In addition, the company is a leading supplier of building materials such as sealers, interlocking pavers, drywall, plaster and stucco, as well as erosion control and drainage products, landscaping supplies, masonry, manufactured stone, interlocking pavers, parking bumpers, fasteners, retaining wall material and other sack products and bulk materials. Construction Division Graniterock’s Construction Division has made its mark in California, building high-profile roads, highways, runways and bridges from Sacramento to Big Sur. They proudly hold California contractor’s license No. 22, one of only five companies with a license from the first 100 granted in California. As a leader in heavy civil infrastructure projects, Graniterock has added other construction services over the years. What

started with paving, excavating and grading has grown to include concrete finishing, underground utilities, profiling and milling, coldin-place recycling and other applications such as riprap and bank stabilization, portable crushing and cement-treated base. With roughly 400 craft people and project engineers and managers, Graniterock’s construction division represents half of the company. Paving continues to be the core business for Graniterock’s construction division. The company has invested heavily in pavers and rollers. One crew may be working on a Caltrans project or other public agency, while another serves a private developer. Graniterock has completed sitework for technology campuses in the Bay Area and other construction duties for biotech offices and laboratories in Silicon Valley. They also perform sitework for parking garage projects. Graniterock recently completed its deepest mass excavation project at 50 feet in Sunnyvale.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

Stuart Mager, Business Manager – Road Materials & Recycle Talks Asphalt Plants and Future Mix Designs Graniterock operates five hot mix asphalt (HMA) plants: Two in Redwood City, one in South San Francisco near SFO and two in Aromas next to the Wilson Quarry. Concrete plants are located in Redwood City, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Salinas and Seaside. Various HMA products and designs are produced for Graniterock’s paving projects and projects for other contractors. “Current and upcoming environmental regulations in California are constantly challenging us to be better neighbors and stewards of the environment. All of our asphalt plants have a blue smoke system but several years ago, we increased the capacity of our blue smoke recovery system for our Aromas plant, which allowed us to increase our production of rubberized HMA Most asphalt overlays for Caltrans are designed incorporating rubber, and our rubberized asphalt production has 29

Left: One of Graniterock’s D11 dozers pushes overburden at the A.R. Wilson Quarry, which is the largest hard rock quarry this side of the Mississippi. Above: Crews install pipe for a campus improvement project at California State University Monterey Bay.

increased significantly,” Mager said. “We also added a RAP system at the Aromas facility a few years ago as the percentage of RAP usage continues to increase in California. To handle the growing volume of RAP in our mixes, we also upgraded our fugitive dust systems and baghouses at the Aromas Quarry location.” Mager says Graniterock is constantly looking at how to best prepare for the future with new HMA mix designs. “We are looking at certain mix designs that are not currently in the specifications, but we believe will be in the future. I am talking about high RAP designs that we are developing at Graniterock. We know high percentage RAP mix designs will not be specified today, next year or even the year after, but it is a long-term strategy we need to get ahead of now.” Mager explains that recyclers currently have large stockpiles of asphalt grindings without the proper demand to put them back in HMA mixes. “These asphalt grindings are like gold and represent a highvalue product with expensive oil and aggregate products sitting idle,” continues Mager. “Some recycled asphalt gets used as base rock, which is a low margin 30

product. There is limited geography in the Bay Area to export these grindings. To be a good partner to our customers, we take these grindings, but you can’t divert it all to base rock.” Mager said for every ton of asphalt sold, around 50-60% comes back as grindings per year, and they must find a use for these spoils. “Our job is to figure out how to incorporate higher percentages of RAP. We are focused on preparing for RAP plant modifications and solutions for what needs to be done to manage dust proportioning and fractionating RAP,” Mager said. “We have looked at other HMA producers who use up to 50% RAP at their plants. At Graniterock, we are looking at 30-40% as a shortterm goal. This requires a lot of research and evaluation, and that is what Graniterock is trying to be out in front of for the near future.” Using recycled construction materials in the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly Silicon Valley, can be limited due to soil conditions and the owner’s preference. “Currently, specifications for the use of RAP in HMA for most public agencies is about 15%. Some will not allow for any use of RAP on their sites or roads,” Mager said.

“Caltrans allows up to 25% RAP. To achieve that, you must change your binder grade, which means you must have storage for the binder..” Mager says many HMA plants can produce 13-20% RAP mixes. “The cost of modifying asphalt plants to handle more than 30% RAP is in the millions of dollars. Other states and countries are using much higher RAP percentages. In my opinion, we should be moving in that direction,” Mager said. “Everyone follows Caltrans’ lead with HMA specs, so cities and counties are looking at Caltrans to show them the way.” Toni Carroll, Director of Quality – Talks Quality and Customer Service Graniterock is a place where a culture of caring is guided by the adherence to five core values. These are safety before all else, honesty and integrity, dedication to customers, and make it better and building great lives. “Our focus at Graniterock is to continue to continue to build upon our company culture, where our people set us apart from other major heavy civil construction companies,” Carroll said. “We have [ Continued on page 32 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

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Left: Graniterock paving crews are known for projects with tight schedules and high standards such as this runway reconstruction project at SFO.

[ Continued from page 30 ]

made a concentrated effort to walk the talk on our values rather than just talk about them.” Carroll explains how team members from all Graniterock’s divisions work together to deliver the right products and projects to their customers. “Our company culture shows up not only in how we treat each other, but also on how Graniterock customers are treated,” Carroll said. “From a quality standpoint, this culture has made a real difference. This includes quality, safety and the environmental impact. These are all so important when you are trying to be proactive and get ahead of an important project.” In demonstrating dedication to customers, Graniterock’s materials teams will often run a test mix through their concrete or asphalt plants before a project begins. “We will do a dry run to make sure that we are comfortable with the material that our plant can produce and our ability to provide the full order on time and to specification,” continues Carroll. “Discovering potential challenges before they become a problem has reduced negative occurrences dramatically. 32

We not only partner with each other, but we have taken this culture to partner with Caltrans, cities, counties, owners, and other stakeholders to make sure they are satisfied with the finished project. We hold to the simple belief and policy that if you are upfront, transparent and polite, you can work through almost any issue quickly and effectively.” Things Are Getting Greener at Graniterock – Stuart Mager, Toni Carrol and Director of Communications, Shanna Crigger, Talk Efficiencies and Being Better Stewards of the Environment Being a “green” company is a big deal for Graniterock as it plans for the next 100 years.Sustainable operations go beyond recycling asphalt grindings and demolition materials. The company has made significant investments in alternative energy sources, water runoff treatment systems and eco-friendly construction services such as cold in-place recycling. “Solar energy is a big one for us. We recently installed a large solar farm at our Wilson Quarry,” Crigger said. “Currently, we have 3,000 solar panels online with

another 15,000 additional panels under construction. In all, solar will provide roughly half of the quarry’s energy needs.” Graniterock’s headquarters in Watsonville received a green makeover in 2019, converting it to a net-zero building with rooftop solar panels and EV charging stations among other improvements made to the HVAC system. Crigger says Graniterock is proactive on environmental stewardship and compliance. “Graniterock plans to be around for another 100 years, and we know that will only happen if we take care of our land, communities and the Earth in general. We go above and beyond what’s asked of us in our permits from regulatory agencies,” Crigger said. “We are working hard to protect the environment so Graniterock remains sustainable for future generations. At Graniterock, we think a lot about the long run and most of our decisions come back to taking action because it’s the right thing to do, not because we have to.” Mager explains a new energysaving initiative that Graniterock recently adopted. “We are just about at the final installation stage of a Tesla battery energy storage

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

system at our Redwood City hot mix asphalt plant. This new battery system will help us better manage the plant’s peak demand. Our energy bills are based on peak energy demand and the number of kilowatt we use every month,” Mager said. “If you can reduce and cap peak energy spikes, you can significantly lower your power bill. As soon as we see initial results and deem them a success, we will move forward to install these Tesla systems at Graniterock’s other plants.” Mager says the Tesla battery system also helps utilities meet their mandates and requirements for alternative energy production. “We are very focused on meeting our green energy production goals, and these Tesla battery banks bring us one step closer to that objective,” he said. Another environmental concern for Graniterock relates to environmental management. “We have spent millions of dollars improving our sites to continue to ensure compliance with dust

trackout and stromwater management. We are installing water collection and treatment systems at our facilities. As a result, no water leaves Graniterock property without going through a system that treats and filters the water,” Mager said. “This initiative allows us to maintain 100% compliance as we continue to invest in greater longevity in the Bay Area.” Did you know that large volumes of Graniterock’s aggregate are shipped by rail? “We have a much lower carbon footprint than other suppliers in the Bay Area that solely rely on trucking materials to jobsites and from one plant location to another,” Carroll said. “Our Wilson Quarry in Aromas uses rail cars to ship material to the San Francisco Bay Area concrete and asphalt plants. Every railcar load takes four trucks off the road, resulting in huge carbon savings and traffic reduction. We have used this rail system since Graniterock was founded. All of our

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

Above: Graniterock has made huge strides in its journey to greener, more sustainable operations. The company has invested in photovoltaic panels at the A.R. Wilson Quarry and recently installed the Tesla megapack energy storage system at the asphalt plant in Redwood City.

rail engines are fully electric and operate remotely.” Still owned by Wilson’s descendants, Graniterock extends from near Sacramento to Big Sur. The values of quality, innovation and respect for people, which were first established by the company’s founder Arthur R. Wilson, continue to guide Graniterock. For more information, visit Graniterock at www.graniterock. com or call their corporate headquarters in Watsonville at (831) 768-2000. CA Brian Hoover is co-owner of Construction Marketing Services, LLC, and editor of CalContractor Magazine. California Asphalt magazine highlighted Graniterock and its former CEO, Bruce Woolpert, in our 2012 Quality issue. Scan the QR code to view that article.



ALBINA ASPHALT ACQUIRES AND UPGRADES NEW ASPHALT MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN CHOWCHILLA TO EXPAND LIQUID ASPHALT OFFERINGS TO THE CENTRAL VALLEY Albina Asphalt is a leading manufacturer and distributor of custom asphalt-related products serving Oregon, Washington and California. Established in 1903, Albina Asphalt offers a variety of superior road improvement solutions for public and private customers. In their fourth generation of family ownership, Albina Asphalt sources the highest quality base material. The company then modifies the liquid asphalt material to provide customers with various product solutions. Kevin Jeffers serves as the operation manager for Albina Asphalt, and he has been working on acquiring a new terminal location in California for a couple of years. "I came across an existing plant a few years back and had several meetings with the previous owner who built the facility," says Jeffers. "We eventually worked out all the details, and the time was finally right, so we put a deal together and closed the acquisition at the end of July." According to Jeffers, Albina Asphalt's new terminal, located in Chowchilla, was initially constructed in 2013. Albina Asphalt previously had four terminals, two in Oregon and two in Washington. "Our Klamath Falls terminal is located in Oregon, just 7 miles north of the California border. This location has allowed our company to compete and successfully serve our customers in Redding and as far south as Sacramento," continues Jeffers. "Our new terminal in Chowchilla will now allow us to serve customers south of San Francisco, effectively changing our California 34

market area to everything north of Bakersfield." Jeffers says that their new facility in Chowchilla is currently under construction to double the size of the terminal. Construction is scheduled for completion by spring 2022. "We are doubling our storage capacity, doubling rail spur capacity and upgrading the load rack," says Jeffers. "Once this expansion is complete, we will have the infrastructure to begin offering additional PG grades. We are also planning to add polymer modified asphalt at this location and hope to have the appropriate equipment installed this coming winter or by the end of 2022." According to Jeffers, Albina Asphalt currently offers PG64-16 and PG64-10 emulsion-based asphalt at their new Chowchilla terminal. The newly expanded terminal will soon also be adding PG64-28M, PG58-22 and PG70-10 to their product line. "Our Chowchilla liquid asphalt terminal currently has three aboveground storage tanks, and there will soon be six," continues Jeffers. "The facility sits on 15 ½ acres, so

we have plenty of room for growth and expansion. All inventory inbounds by rail, so we unload the material, heat it, and modify it to our customer's specifications. The finished product is then stored or shipped out to hot mix asphalt producers or asphalt contractors that produce and install their privately manufactured asphalt materials." Albina Asphalt currently has three certified lab locations in Klamath Falls, OR, Madras, OR and Vancouver, WA. All five terminal locations are open 24/7, 356 days a year, and as of last month, they are now officially on the list of Caltrans-approved facilities. Albina Asphalt is also an official Cargill distributor and will soon be offering Magnesium Chloride in bulk for dust control purposes. So, if you are in the market for emulsions, release agents, hot asphalt, cutbacks or dust control products and located north of Bakersfield, give Albina Asphalt's new Chowchilla terminal a call at (559) 665-5500 or visit their website at CA

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Quality Issue

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