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ROADBUILDER Summer 2010 • A Publication of the Alabama Road Builders’ Association


$1 Billion Plan FOR ROADS AND BRIDGES Voters to Decide Fate of Bill in November


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ROADBUILDER Summer 2010 • A Publication of the Alabama Road Builders’ Association




Executive Director’s Message.................................................. 5


President’s Message ................................................................. 7 From the Alabama Department of Transportation ................. 9 Building a Legacy: Hall of Fame 2010 ................................ 10 Impact of Investing in Our Roads .........................................17 Employment Immigration Update........................................ 19 Member Profile: HRCA, LLC ............................................. 22 Heard Along the Highway .................................................. 23 Index to Advertisers/ ................................... 26

Published for: Alabama Road Builders’ Association 630 Adams Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 832-4331 Fax: (334) 265-4931 STAFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BILLY NORRELL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR TERRI MITCHELL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SHIRLEY BANKS

Published by:

Naylor, LLC 5950 NW 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607 (352) 332-1252 or (800) 369-6220 Fax: (352) 331-3525 PUBLISHER Kathleen Gardner EDITOR Julie Ahlgren PROJECT MANAGER Megan Sapp PUBLICATION DIRECTOR Rick Sauers ADVERTISING SALES Sandy Amaturo, Susan Maracle, Mark Tumarkin, Cherie Worley, Matthew Yates, Chris Zabel MARKETING Patti Callahan LAYOUT AND DESIGN Catharine Snell ADVERTISING ART Aaron Harper ©2010 Naylor, LLC. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. PUBLISHED JUNE 2010/ALR-Q0210/4345

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010


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This Champ does it all by lowering mix temperatures, up to 100 degrees. This means less energy to produce and pave, increased worker safety, faster return to traffic, reduced emissions and lowered overall construction costs. In addition, Evotherm requires less compactive effort to achieve density. This may result in a performance bonus. POW!

CHFRS-2P Chip Seal Don’t turn your back on this heavy-hitter. This one is tenacious. It grabs your chips fast and holds on to them longer. Putting traffic back into play sooner and keeps you moving and jabbing.

CMS-1P Rejuvenating Surface Treatments Last but not least! Keep water on the ropes. If it can’t get past the surface, it can’t impact your substrate and damage the road-bed. That’s a good game plan. 4

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010



A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT HAS passed the Legislature that would inject $100 million per year for 10 years into the construction program at the Department of Transportation, while also greatly benefitting Alabama’s counties and cities. The money would come from the Alabama Trust Fund and include a safety net so the balance of the account would not be reduced to less than $2 billion at the time of the annual transfer. The voters will ultimately decide the fate of the program. This new construction, which would come at no cost to Alabama citizens, would provide much needed jobs, save lives, increase our quality of life and improve the economy of our entire state. The needs of Alabama’s infrastructure are without question. The Department of Transportation has a total resurfacing backlog of $1.254 billion totaling approximately 3,800 miles. This number is growing by $41 million annually (roughly 125 miles per year added to the total). The more than 44,000 miles of roads maintained by the county system, where many accidents occur, are also not being addressed. The total state bridge replacement program backlog is roughly $1.3 billion (approximately 1,150 bridges) and grows by $135 million per year. More than 2,500 county bridges are in service that restrict their crossing by overweight vehicles. Capacity expansion and new construction projects are put on hold because of funding limitations. A recent report by The Road Information Program (TRIP), a non-profit, Washington-based national transportation research organization, shows that Alabama will need $4.3 billion over the next five years to complete or expand transportation projects.

Alabama’s gasoline tax rate for funding roads and bridges has remained unchanged since 1992. Collections of gas and diesel taxes are declining at a consistent rate on both the state and national level. Over the five-year period from October 2004 to October 2009, the average cost of materials used for highway construction, including asphalt, concrete, steel, lumber and diesel, increased by 33 percent, greatly reducing the overall number of projects simply because of increased costs. Building roads provides jobs. The Federal Highway Administration calculated that every $1 billion of investment by states in highways and bridges supports a total of 27,823 jobs throughout the economy (34,779 jobs when including the federal funds). This means more than $1.06 billion in income to workers as the money works its way through the economy—an average wage of $41,400 per construction worker. Alabama is facing difficult times with unemployment at greater than 11 percent. The construction industry reports a rate greater than 22 percent, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Despite these numbers, it is proven that jobs can be not only sustained, but also created from additional funding within our industry. ALDOT received more than $400 million in federal stimulus funds and used a majority of those funds on maintenance projects in an effort to alleviate some of the aforementioned backlog. Many believe the 2009 funds were the salvation for our industry, but when polled about the number of employees hired as a result of the stimulus money, construction companies typically answered they only had to lay off half as many continued on page 6 employees as they expected.

Building and maintaining our road and bridge system is one of the most fundamental functions of government—it is not, nor should it ever be, a Republican or Democrat issue. The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010


Some believe that new roads and bridges won’t make an impact on our sagging economy. And yet, directly thanks to the stimulus, overall investment in highway, bridge and transit projects was up 12 percent nationally through November 2009. That means hundreds of thousands of Americans and Alabamians were able to hold jobs that otherwise would have been lost, and many more were created where conditions made them possible. If you are in one of those families that does this for a living, that’s an impact—a very positive one. This is the kind of impact the $1 billion Alabama road and bridge stimulus effort will have on our economy. The momentum created by the federal stimulus dollars can be sustained by approving this state construction program, and an improved Alabama economy will be the result—all at no cost to the Alabama taxpayers. These additional dollars, combined with a robust state program and a strong federal investment in transportation construction, would bring the kind of growth to Alabama’s employment sector we all need. Saving lives, creating jobs and producing long-term assets for the state—new roads or bridges. Building and maintaining our road and bridge system is one of the most fundamental functions of government—it is not, nor should it ever be, a Republican or Democrat issue. Highway construction has an impact on everything we do in Alabama. In a time where increasing taxes is not an option, we believe this is an equitable proposal and encourage its support by the people in November. ❏ 475857_Ritchie.indd 1

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John G. Walton

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The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 3/23/102010 8:03:22 AM



WITH THE SUCCESSFUL PASSAGE of Senate Bill 121, which will provide $100 million annually over the next 10 years from the Alabama Oil and Gas Trust Fund for highway construction, your Alabama Road Builders Association has once again demonstrated that it has the determination to protect and promote the transportation construction industry in Alabama. Thanks to the hard work of numerous individuals, on the 29th day of the 2010 legislative session, the ARBA-supported legislation was passed. The sponsors of the bill, Sen. Lowell Barron and Rep. Billy Beasley, worked tirelessly to direct the bill through the process. Sen. Barron has been working for more than three years on this legislation, and the final passage was a reward richly deserved. We cannot thank him enough for the time and determination he put into this effort. Rep. Beasley was an outstanding sponsor who superbly handled the House floor debate. ARBA members can be proud of their fellow members who worked relentlessly and over the course of the session to make certain this bill came to fruition. Additionally, we want to thank all members of the Legislature who supported and voted for SB 121. Now, the legislation must be approved by Alabama citizens. There will be some individuals who oppose the constitutional amendment for various reasons. We need to ensure that all Alabama voters have the facts on the amendment and what it means to the state of Alabama. Some key points are: • For every $1 billion spent on highway construction, 27,800 jobs are supported, according to the Federal Highway Administration. In addition, as the money works its way through the economy, it translates up to $2.5 billion of economic activity. No other investment in the state equals this rate of return.

• Highway funds will not be withdrawn from the Oil and Gas Fund if the Trust Fund drops below $2 billion in any year across the 10-year funding period. • The funds will be distributed by ALDOT in accordance with an established, long-term formula. • We can achieve a reduction in congestion across the state. • There will be a healthy increase in business development opportunities for our cities and counties. • By improving our infrastructure and highway system, we will reduce the costs to Alabamians for insurance, vehicle maintenance (e.g., less damage due to potholes and poor road shoulders) and traffic delays. There is an immediate need for these funds. Alabama’s infrastructure is crumbling and is given poor grades by the American Society of Civil Engineers and other groups. According to the recent TRIP report “Future Mobility in Alabama”: • 16 percent of Alabama’s roads are rated in poor or mediocre condition. • 25 percent of Alabama’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and cannot be safely traveled by trucks, school buses or automobiles. • 52 percent of Alabama’s urban highways are congested. • In the last 18 years, vehicle travel miles in Alabama have increased 48 percent, and by 2030, are expected to increase by another 30 percent. • Even though less traveled, Alabama’s rural roads experience more than double the fatality rate than all other roads and highways due to poor conditions. • Alabama’s teenage highway death rate is one of the highest in the U.S. continued on page 8

We need to ensure that all Alabama voters have the facts on the amendment and what it means to the state of Alabama. The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010


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• Alabama’s roads in need of repair cost motorists $590 million statewide in extra vehicle operating costs annually. • In the last 10 years, revenues for highway construction and infrastructure have decreased substantially and the cost of construction has increased. Without a substantial boost in federal or state highway funding, Alabama will be unable to complete numerous projects to improve the condition and expand the capacity of roads, bridges, highways and public transit, hampering the state’s ability to improve mobility and to enhance economic development opportunities in the state. Some refer to the Oil and Gas Fund as a “rainy-day fund.” Decreasing highway fatalities, increasing jobs, reducing costs and promoting economic development are certainly good uses of our “rainy-day fund,” which incidentally has grown since its inception. The federal government is an essential source of funding, and despite the passage of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that provided $567.2 million in stimulus funding for improvements in highways, bridges and public transit, funding at the state level is not sufficient for future road and infrastructure maintenance and upgrade. If ever there was a time for the industry to join forces, it is now. The future of the largest transportation construction endeavor in our history will soon be decided by Alabama voters, and the entire industry should be united in an effort to get this constitutional amendment passed. I challenge all of you to recruit any non-ARBA contractor or associate member that you work with and get them on our team. This legislation is for all Alabamians and we need 12/16/09 12:30:13 PM the entire industry pulling together heading to November elections. A strong grassroots effort is imperative. Our efforts over the last three years 1940 Pinson Valley Parkway will have been in vain if we cannot get the amendment passed in November. We Birmingham, AL 35217 have come too far and worked too hard Office: (205) 849-1727 to let this effort fail. The results are cruFax: (205) 849-1726 cial for Alabama and for our industry. This may be one of the few opportunities for the transportation construction industry to show its unity in getting this amendment passed. ❏ ThePM Alabama 11/16/07 3:28:55

Roadbuilder • Summer 2010



THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF Transportation has more than our share of challenges, but since 2003 we’ve made unprecedented strides through an approach that combines accountability, efficiency and a commitment to making decisions based on priorities over politics. Despite mounting challenges, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. By year’s end, an investment of more than $100 million will yield a vastly improved interstate passage through Montgomery. In 2007, the Alabama Department of Transportation launched a major project to widen and rebuild Interstate 65 through Montgomery. The project began in the shadow of the 50th anniversary of the Eisenhower Interstate System to add capacity through the state capital and to serve as a symbol of how an aging highway system needs rehabilitation. In 2008, we completed the $22.7 million widening of State Highway 113 from Flomaton to I-65 in Escambia County to provide a four-lane hurricane evacuation route for Alabama and Florida. It’s an important project left unaddressed for decades, but its completion in one year’s time will help evacuate people from the danger of land-falling hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. A project to widen the final 16 miles of U.S. Highway 431 between Opelika and Dothan is slated for completion by December. It hadn’t even begun in 2003, but because of the deadly history of that stretch of U.S. Highway 431 in rural Russell County, I made it a priority. Today, much of the new highway is open, and the final project is nearing completion. Reader’s Digest in 2000 said this was one of America’s deadliest highways, but already—with one segment still not

open to traffic—it’s been transformed into one of our safest. Since 2003, ALDOT has opened nearly 60 miles of the new Corridor X (Future I-22). Currently, 91 miles are open to through traffic. Construction is underway for the project that will connect the new corridor to I-65 and is expected to be completed by October 15, 2014. We’ve also completed the four-laning of State Highway 157 from Cullman to the Shoals and U.S. Highway 280 between Birmingham and Auburn. We’ve let projects that will close other gaps, such as the final project on the Anniston Eastern Bypass, a project to connect two previously widened sections of I-20 in St. Clair County, and another widening project on U.S. Highway 331. We’ve reached a point, however, especially with no prospect for a new highway funding bill before the end of 2010, where our focus will be more on maintenance over new projects than ever before. I’ve repeatedly said we wouldn’t be able to maintain pace unless more stability was achieved to provide adequate funding for construction of roads and bridges and maintenance of our existing system. We’re seeing no vision in Washington to provide stable funding for state DOTs, and we’ve seen little promise for greater, long-term stability at the state level. We remain focused on preserving our existing infrastructure, enhancing safety and providing new capacity when possible, but it’s increasingly apparent that mounting challenges pose a threat to the recent progress we’ve made. We appreciate the partnership of the Alabama Road Builders Association in our ongoing efforts to provide safe, efficient highways to the people of Alabama. ❏

We’re seeing no vision in Washington to provide stable funding for state DOTs, and we’ve seen little promise for greater, long-term stability at the state level. The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010



Building a Legacy


he Alabama Road Builders Hall of Fame was created in 2002 by the efforts of several visionary members of the Alabama Road Builders Association board of directors. Patterned largely after the State of

Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame, our intent to honor the leaders and pioneers of Alabama’s transportation construction industry has taken a giant leap toward this success with the installation of its eighth class in April 2010. This special event was held at the Montgomery Country Club on April 14, 2010, and featured another class of families that were, and many that still are today, the backbone of our industry and association from its infancy to the billion dollar economic engine that helps drive our state’s economy. The intent of the Hall of Fame is to remember and honor those individuals who have been instrumental in the establishment of today’s transportation construction environment, while giving the individuals and their families a chance to re-establish relationships from long ago at this special occasion. The ballroom of the Montgomery Country Club was packed with special guests for the momentous event, including Alabama’s Lt. Gov. and Sen.


Larry Means (D – Gadsden). An opening reception allowed all those present to mingle, see friends and review photos from the Alabama Road Builders Association archives. M. B. McCartney, chairman of the Hall of Fame board of directors, welcomed all and described his vision for the Hall of Fame. He also thanked the sponsors of the event for their generosity in making certain the ceremony would be a success. He introduced Dr. Larry Benefield, dean of Auburn University’s Ginn College of Engineering, who served as emcee for the remainder of the ceremony. Bill Page then blessed the meal for all attendees. The Hall of Fame board of directors worked during 2002 and early 2003 to fashion a ceremony that was

reflective of both the past history of the transportation construction industry in Alabama as well as those who had an instrumental part in the creation of the Alabama Road Builders Association. At the same time, the board also wanted to include several deserving honorees that could enjoy being a part of the actual ceremony as it was taking place. Selecting from a list of applicants that was solicited from the membership of the Alabama Road Builders Association and also by review of the Hall of Fame board, the board came up with the slate of honorees for the 2010 class of the Alabama Road Builders Hall of Fame.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010

THE HONOREES FOR THE CLASS OF 2010 ARE: The Hon. James E. Folsom, Sr.* John A. Haraway* James H. Kelley, Jr. John L. Murphree* *Deceased Our thanks go out to the families of all the honorees for the class of 2010. We appreciate all their support and assistance as we prepared biographical information on each of the inductees in the class. The cooperation between the families and our association staff was, as always, tremendous and made the creation of this program a delight. In addition to the support of our Alabama Road Builders Association membership, we would also like to thank the board of directors of the Alabama Road Builders Hall of Fame. Their dedication and commitment to see this project through, culminating in the ceremony described in this article, is a testament to the hard work and dedication they showed as we met time and again to prepare this inaugural event. We encourage all members of the transportation construction family and the Alabama Road Builders Association to actively participate in the support and continued success of this annual event. We ask that you provide potential candidates for this distinguished honor at the appropriate time so they too may be considered for addition in the Alabama Road Builders Hall of Fame.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010



James Elisha Folsom, the 45th and 47th governor of Alabama, was born October 9, 1908, in Coffee County. He was one of eight children born to Joshua and Eulala Dunnavant Folsom. Joshua Folsom pursued an active political career, serving as deputy sheriff, tax collector and as a member of the Coffee County Commission. Much of Folsom’s populist ideology developed as a result of his father’s political influence, the stories rich in family history and political tradition told by his uncle John Dunnavant, and Folsom’s own extensive reading about history and historical figures, particularly his hero, Andrew Jackson. Folsom received his formal education from the public schools in Coffee County, the University of Alabama, Howard College (Samford University) in Birmingham and George Washington University, although he never obtained a college degree. Prior to serving as governor, Folsom served in the Merchant Marine and worked with the Civil Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration. Folsom began working for his brother-inlaw’s insurance company, the Emergency Aid Insurance Company, in 1937 and the following year moved to Cullman to serve as the company’s north Alabama representative. He served briefly during WWII, but the illness and subsequent death of his first wife, Sarah Carnley, in 1944 forced him to return to Cullman to care for his daughters, Rachel and Melissa. Folsom entered the political ring in 1933 running unsuccessfully as a 12

delegate to the state prohibition convention. In 1936 and again in 1938 he ran for Congress against incumbent Henry B. Steagall and was defeated both times. Next he ran for governor in 1942 against Chauncey Sparks and surprised many observers by finishing second in that race. Folsom, who earned the nickname “Big Jim” during the 1946 campaign, defeated Handy Ellis in the runoff. His election campaign was an event in and of itself. Folsom took his campaign directly to the people and entertained them with a country band, the Strawberry Pickers, while he displaced the mop and suds bucket with which he intended to clean state government. Incorporating his populist ideas, Folsom’s platform advocated reapportionment, increased and expanded benefits for elderly citizens, increased funding in education, repeal of the poll tax, and better roads and highways. Folsom’s first term in office achieved some of his goals: increased funding to aid education and the elderly, as well as road improvements. Following his first term in office, Folsom returned to his insurance business until he was re-elected governor in 1954. Folsom’s 1954 campaign and platform differed little from his 1946 effort. The major difference was Folsom’s acceptance and support for the role outside industry could play in improving Alabama’s economy and quality of life. Although the Legislature was initially more cooperative, the civil rights movement destroyed all chance of compromise on certain issues. Big Jim was a moderate on the race issue and refused to exploit race relations to achieve his agenda.

During the first year of Folsom’s second administration, most of his programs to expand state services were enacted, and he almost succeeded in partly achieving his long-term goal of reapportionment in the Legislature. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment and legacy was the implementation of Alabama’s “Farm to Market” Road Program. Folsom rightly understood that if we facilitated getting products to market in a cost-effective manner, the entire economy of the state would be stimulated. Beginning with the vision of paving 100 miles of road in each of the 67 counties in Alabama, Folsom eventually spearheaded the construction of more than 18,000 miles of paved roads in the state. In addition to road construction, Folsom’s infrastructure program constructed 114,388 linear feet (217 miles) of bridges within the 67 counties. Approximately $650 million of federal, state and county funds were put into the program. Historians have judged Folsom’s “Farm to Market” program as one of the most efficient and effective uses of combined state and federal funding in our nation’s history. In 1962 Folsom was defeated in his third bid for governor by George C. Wallace. He was never again elected to public office and continued in his insurance business in Cullman. Along with his fi rst two daughters, Sarah Rachel and Melissa Carnley, Folsom and his second wife, Jamelle Moore, had seven children: James Elisha, Jr., Andrew Jackson, Jamelle Alabama, Thelma Ebelene, Joshua Melvin, Eulala Cornelia and Melody Dunnavant. He died of heart failure on November 21, 1987, in Cullman.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010


John A. Haraway was born in Rogersville, Ala., on April 4, 1934. Haraway attended Lauderdale County High School and Auburn University. As an outstanding student, he was able to work summers with the Alabama Road Builders Summer Work Program. His assignment each summer was to work at Ballew & Roberts where he worked in their

field training, which resulted in his employment as chief engineer. Upon graduation from Auburn in 1956, Haraway spent a brief period as an instructor at Auburn. He also spent time working as a junior engineer with Pan American Airways at Cape Canaveral until he was called to duty with the U.S. Air Force. In 1958 after leaving the Air Force, Haraway accepted a position with Ballew & Roberts Construction Company where he worked as a civil engineer. His experience was in highway and heavy construction with an

emphasis on clearing, earthmoving, base, bituminous paving, sanitary and storm sewer, railroad, dock, and minor concrete structures. In 1986 the company was sold to David Abramson, John Haraway, Keith Mims and H.T. Godfrey. After several years of all working together, Abramson and Haraway took ownership of the company and managed it until January 1993, when Haraway retired. Haraway was a long-time member of Alabama Road Builders Association and served as president in 1989.


In December 1935, James Hayward Kelley, Jr. was born in Wewahitchka, Fla. His mother was Erin Andrews Kelley of Dale County, Ala., and his father was James Hayward Kelley of Houston County, Ala. In 1940 the family moved to Ozark, Ala., his mother’s hometown, where they lived until after Kelley’s college years. The schools of Ozark furnished Kelley his early education. He was privileged to be a Boy Scout, attained the rank of Eagle Scout and attended two National Jamborees. He was the first elected chief of the AlabamaWest Florida Conference, Order of the Arrow. In high school he played football, was class president and in 1954 graduated as valedictorian of his class. In 1954, Kelley entered Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn) with the desire to pursue a degree in civil engineering. Once in school, all ablebodied male students were required to participate in Junior ROTC. Knowing he would be faced with a military

obligation after graduation, Kelley chose to voluntarily continue in the Senior Army ROTC Program which would lead to a commission of 2nd Lt. While attending Auburn he spent his summers working on the training program sponsored by the Alabama Road Builders Association. His first summer, he was assigned to work with H.C. “Hack” Jordan with Jordan Pile Driving Company in Ozark. The exposure to hard work, mud and creosote added greatly to his motivation to get back to Auburn to earn a degree. The remaining two summers under the program, Kelley was assigned to work with the Alabama Highway Department. The exposure he received while participating with Alabama Road Builders Association Training Program helped convince him to later pursue a career in highway work. After graduation from Auburn, Kelley went to work with the Alabama Highway Department full time, working on construction projects in the Seventh Division in southeast Alabama.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010

That same year he was ordered to active duty in the U.S. Army for six months. After his release from the U.S. Army, Kelley returned to work with the Alabama Highway Department working in both the Field Division and central office in Montgomery, as a participant in the Department Training Program. A blind date provided Kelley with the opportunity to meet Burnie Rae Lassiter, while she was attending Troy State University. They later married in 1960 and were blessed with two daughters, Starla K. Jones and Erin K. Scott. The daughters each provided a grandson, Dylan Jones and Beau Scott, respectively. continued on page 14 13

In 1961, the National Guard unit 2nd Lt. Kelley was called to active duty and assigned to Fort Irwin, Calif., until August 1962 when he was released from active duty. He continued his military career in the Alabama National Guard for 24 years, retiring in 1982 with the rank of LTC. He returned to work and became assistant project engineer working on projects in the Eufaula area. In the spring of 1963, Kelley was promoted to civil engineer II and assigned to the division office in Troy to supervise a design team developing highway projects. In 1966, Kelley was assigned as district construction engineer in Greenville where he worked on

Interstate 65 and a variety of projects. Two years later he was transferred to Dothan as district engineer. In May 1969, Kelley was assigned to assist R.N. Rice, assistant division engineer, in his responsibilities for construction, secondary roads and preliminary engineering for the Seventh Division. One of his principle duties was organizing and conducting public hearing for the division in addition to maintaining contact with the construction activities. After Rice was promoted to division engineer, Kelley became assistant division engineer. After the death of Charles Adams, division engineer in 1976, Kelley was appointed division engineer for the

Seventh Division. In this capacity he was responsible for the various activities for that division which encompassed nine counties in southeast Alabama. In 1986, a special relationship developed between Kelley and his daughter Erin when she experienced total kidney failure while a sophomore at Troy State University. Testing determined he was compatible, and he donated his kidney to her. The surgery was conducted at UAB and was a success. In August 1997, Kelley retired from the Alabama Highway Department of Transportation as division engineer (23 years) for the Seventh Division with a total of 39 years of service.


John L. Murphree was born in 1913 at Sycamore Landing on the Tennessee River in Humphreys County, Tenn. He was raised in nearby Bakerville, Tenn., and graduated from Bakerville High School in 1929. His first job after high school was as a farm hand, and after three years of looking at the back side of a mule, he realized that his future should go in a different direction. He was fortunate during Great Depression times to find a job with the Humphreys County Road Department as a laborer. He later became a supervisor over crews cutting rights of way, grading new roads and maintaining existing roads. Thus began Murphree’s life-long association with road building. A few years later, his experience in road construction was put to use in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the early years of the New Deal. 14

After his time with the WPA, he joined the Tennessee State Highway Department as a supervisor in charge of construction and maintenance crews, and he continued to hone his skills in construction as well as in leadership. In 1941 Murphree made a transition to the private sector when he was hired by Oman Construction Company, a large and well-established heavy-highway contractor in Nashville, Tenn. At Oman, his skills in road building and his leadership ability were quickly recognized, and he was soon made a project superintendent. In 1943 he was drafted into the Army and served in the Corps of Engineers. After he was discharged from the Army in 1945, he resumed his employment at Oman. During the time he worked for Oman, he built highway projects in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Through a partnership between Oman and Couch Construction Company of Dothan, Ala., Murphree became involved with Couch as the two companies worked together on many projects. In 1949, he was offered an opportunity to start a full-time career with Couch as its general superintendent. This

opportunity allowed him to be part of the transformation of Couch into a major road building contractor and materials producer in the Southeast. His previous experience in road building added new dimensions and expertise to the Couch organization. In November 1959, Couch Construction Company was stunned at the tragic deaths of majority owner Quin Flowers, Sr. and company engineer, Claude McEachin, in an automobile accident. Murphree was pressed into the position of providing stability and cohesion as the fledgling owners struggled to lead the company through the challenging time. During his career at Couch, Murphree continued to demonstrate his expertise in road building, and he became proficient in the manufacture and placement of hot mix asphalt. He was totally dedicated to his company, its employees and to his industry. He also developed as a manager and was later made vice president in charge of all operations. He was a gifted leader of men and a mentor to those he led. Many who worked for him went on to have outstanding careers in highway construction. He demanded from them production, loyalty and dedication.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010

These concepts were reinforced by occasional reprimands delivered by way of his car radio, an experience feared by all employees. He also gave them his full support and gained their highest level of respect and admiration. Murphree was highly regarded and recognized throughout the Alabama Highway Department. Project engineers, division engineers and highway directors held him in high esteem not only because of his experience, expertise and ability, but also because of his character. Ray Bass was instrumental in naming a section of US 84 through Dothan the John L. Murphree Boulevard in his honor. Murphree was also deeply involved in his community. His dedication to

his church, the Chamber of Commerce and his civic work was recognized and honored. He was an elder of the Park Avenue Church of Christ in Dothan, a seasoned Kiwanian, and an advocate for the developmentally disabled. In 1980, the Rotary Club of Dothan awarded him their greatest honor, The Paul Harris Award, an honor magnified by the fact that at the time he was not a Rotarian. He was also dedicated to his wife and family. He and his wife, Sarah,

were married 54 years. Together they raised six children. After more than 40 years in road construction, Murphree retired from Couch and returned to Tennessee where he continued his civic work and advocacy for the developmentally disabled as he improved and maintained the property on which he settled. In February of 1988, John L. Murphree, a tireless worker and peerless road builder, passed from this life leaving behind a lasting legacy of dedicated service. ❏

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The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010


Impact of Investing in Our Roads BY MARY LOU JAY


he troubled economy has placed more demands than ever on Alabama’s budget, and program spending cuts have been the order of the day. But legislators who want to boost the state’s economy should consider increasing Alabama’s transportation infrastructure construction budget instead of decreasing it. Building and maintaining the state’s roads and

bridges stimulates the state’s economy and yields multiple financial benefits for its people and its businesses. First, road building and maintenance projects create jobs. “The Federal Highway Administration has a pretty complex, sophisticated model for what kinds of jobs and how many are supported by transportation construction activity. It comes to about 28,000 jobs for every billion dollars that is spent on construction activity,” says William Buechner, an ARTBA economist. Alabama’s road building budget was $1.03 billion in FY 2009, is $.97 billion in FY 2010 and will be $.99 billion in FY 2011. According to a recent ARTBA report, that translates into 29,252 people directly employed in highway, bridge and general construction; in design and engineering; in the asphalt, aggregate and concrete industries; in equipment sales, maintenance and repair; in traffic safety and control products; and in government transportation roles. The money spent by these workers supports another 29,467 full-time jobs in the state. In all, these workers earn $2.2 billion in wages and pay approximately $7.7 billion in state taxes each year. Under the FHWA formula, the $513 million in federal stimulus funding that Alabama used for road building and maintenance projects created approximately 28,000 direct and indirect jobs. “The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that for every dollar that you spend on highway and bridge construction, you’re generating about $2.05 in benefits. For maintenance, the figure is even

higher—$2.70 in benefits for every dollar spent. So there’s certainly a ripple effect in the economy when you invest in transportation infrastructure,” says Alison Premo Black, ARTBA vice president of policy. KEEPING ALABAMA BUSINESSES PROFITABLE In addition to job creation, road building provides improvements in productivity, efficiency, mobility and safety for many industries. “Those are secondary long-term impacts that also have a long-lasting effect throughout the economy,” Black adds. “We understand that a viable, maintained road system in the state of Alabama is essential for manufacturers to bring in inventories, to bring in the parts to assemble and manufacture and then to transport those goods to the marketplace. Without an adequate road and bridge system, we’re not going to be profitable; it’s a simple as that,” says George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama. His association represents core industries such as steel, pulp and paper, and heavy manufacturing. “Alabama’s business community depends on the ability to receive raw materials and move those final materials to market. Alabama’s road system must be a priority in order to maintain Alabama’s status as a world-class economy,” adds Ralph Stacy, senior vice president for strategic communications at the Business Council of Alabama.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010

A 2007 report from the Alabama Commission on Infrastructure noted that “The efficient and effective movement of people and freight is a critical component in the transformation and growth of the Alabama economy. The continued transition and growth of the Alabama economy cannot occur without adequate and appropriate transportation infrastructure.” Good roads make companies more competitive. “The better the roads are the less clogged they are, and the cheaper it will be for firms to deliver their products and ship their services. But on a more fundamental level, as transportation improves and companies have access to wider markets, they can adopt lower-cost, higher-volume technologies that make them more competitive. An improved transportation infrastructure affects productivity and competitiveness as a whole,” Buechner observes. When roads are poorly maintained or congested, on the other hand, drivers spend their time sitting in traffic instead of delivering goods and services. That prevents manufacturers from using just-in-time delivery systems, which provide the most efficiency in the manufacturing process, Black adds. BETTER ROADS, SAFER ROADS Well-maintained and adequate roads allow Alabama residents to spend less time commuting and give them better access to goods and services. That 17

TRANSPORTATION CONSTRUCTION BRINGS BILLIONS TO ALABAMA ECONOMY The transportation infrastructure construction industry in Alabama: • Directly employs 29,252 people, who earn a total payroll of $1.1 billion per year. • Generates approximately $4 million per year in state tax revenues. The money Alabama transportation design and construction firms, agencies and their employees spend annually: • Indirectly sustains the equivalent of full-time jobs for 29,467 people, who earn a total payroll of $1.1 billion per year. • Generates approximately $3.7 million per year in state tax revenues. Without the roads and bridges built and maintained by the transportation construction, these Alabama industries could not be sustained: Number of Employees

Payroll Generated

State Taxes Generated



$8 billion

$28 million



$11.8 billion

$41.5 million


$2.2 billion

$7.8 million


$504.4 million

$1.8 million


$511.3 million

$39.1 million



$7.4 billion

$26.9 million

Wholesale trade


$4.2 billion

$14.6 million

Retail trade


$5.5 billion

$19.2 million


Transportation & Warehousing Agriculture & Forestry Mining

Information from the U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Profile ©American Road and Transportation Builders Association

helps create jobs in the community, Black says. “Safety is another big issue; many times you’re making safety investments that will help save lives.” A 2009 study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation found that roadway conditions are a factor in 52.7 percent of the deaths in U.S. motor vehicle crashes and in 38 percent of non-fatal injuries. Alabama itself loses $7 million per year in medical costs, productivity loss, quality of life loss and other miscellaneous costs, according to that study. It also noted that “Road conditions are largely controllable. Road maintenance and upgrading can prevent crashes and reduce injury severity.” Saving lives, adding jobs, creating better quality of life—road building in Alabama does all that and more. Although allocating more tax dollars for any sector of the state budget may seem counter-intuitive at this time, when it comes to transportation infrastructure construction and maintenance it simply makes good economic sense. ❏

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The Alabama Roadbuilder •11/16/07 Summer 2010 3:16:15 PM


Employment Immigration Update BY MAC B. GREAVES BURR & FORMAN LLP

THE IMMIGRATION REFORM AND Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) prohibits employment of unauthorized aliens and provides civil and criminal penalties for violations of this law. These penalties will be imposed against employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ aliens who are not authorized to work in the United States. Employer liability is not limited to those situations in which it has actual knowledge that an employee does not have proper authorization to work in the United States. The employer is deemed to have “constructive knowledge” that an employee is unauthorized where the employer intentionally fails to investigate circumstances that are suspicious and which indicate that the person is unauthorized to work in the United States. Section 1324(a) of IRCA prohibits employers from knowingly hiring, recruiting, referring or sustaining the employment of aliens who lack proper employment eligibility verification. Employers must verify the employment eligibility of every person hired. This verification requirement applies to all employers. This is done by checking specific documents authorized by law and by completing a form, the “I-9,” Employment Eligibility Verification Form. On November 25, 2002, President Bush signed the Homeland Security Act into law. This law created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and abolished the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The duties and responsibilities of the INS, which was responsible for handling all matters involving enforcement of immigration laws, were transferred to the DHS. Under the DHS, the enforcement

of immigration regulations is within the jurisdiction of the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which serves as the Immigration Law Enforcement Agency. ICE handles the investigations and violations of most immigration laws. It is responsible for removing foreign nationals found in the United States to be in violation of these laws. Under IRCA, an employer can be subjected to an investigation by ICE, which involves a review of I-9 forms and employment records in order to determine if hiring violations have occurred. If an employer is found to be have knowingly hired or continued to employ an unauthorized alien, or if an employer fails to comply with the employment eligibility verification requirements of IRCA, the employer will be subject to civil penalties. IRCA also authorizes criminal sanctions for a “pattern or practice” of knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010

An employer’s principal obligation under ICRA is to avoid the employment of aliens who do not have proper authorization to work in the United States. Out of concern that the sanctions could cause employers to discriminate against employees and job applicants who look or sound “foreign,” regardless of citizenship or legal authorization to work in the United States, Congress added anti-discrimination provisions to IRCA, which require employers to treat all employees equally in verifying their employment eligibility. IRCA’s anti-discrimination provisions generally prohibit discrimination against any individual on the basis of his/her national origin or citizenship status with respect to hiring, discharge, recruitment or referral for a fee. Employers also cannot intimidate, threaten, coerce or retaliate against any person for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by IRCA. An employer who engages in this type of conduct will be considered 19

to be engaged in an unlawful immigration-related employment practice. Protection from unfair immigrationrelated employment practices does not apply to employers with three or fewer employees. Employers who violate IRCA’s anti-discrimination provision are subject to fines and penalties. In addition to civil fines, an employer may be ordered to hire an individual who was the subject of an adverse action in violation of IRCA’s anti-discrimination provision. Back pay may be ordered in appropriate situations. The Immigration Reform and Control Act was intended to discourage the migration of illegal aliens into the United States by imposing reasonable verification standards along with civil and criminal penalties for violations of these standards. These requirements were based upon the theory that people would not readily enter the U.S. illegally if they were unable to secure employment opportunities. Unfortunately, the federal government has not been very successful in stemming the tide of illegal immigration into the United States through the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act and other federal laws. The federal government’s inability to make headway against the tide of illegal immigration has caused many politicians to come under intense political pressure to take action and implement state laws to address

Section 1324(a) of IRCA prohibits employers from knowingly hiring, recruiting, referring or sustaining the employment of aliens who lack proper employment eligibility verification. immigration issues. For example, the governor of Arizona signed into law a comprehensive immigration bill on April 23, 2010, for the purpose of giving local police officers additional tools to combat illegal immigration, while protecting the civil rights of citizens and legal residents. As in the case of IRCA, the Arizona law contains important employment-related provisions to effectuate the overall purpose of the Act. The law specifically states that an employer shall not knowingly employ an unauthorized alien. It also precludes an employer from using a contract, subcontract or other independent contract agreement to obtain the labor of an unauthorized alien. Similarly, it precludes an employer from contracting with a person who employs or contracts with an unauthorized alien to perform work. The law also makes it a misdemeanor for an individual to attempt to “hire or pick up” individuals under the following circumstances: • It is unlawful for an occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped on a roadway to attempt to hire or pick up passengers for work at a different

location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic. • It is unlawful for a person to enter a motor vehicle that is stopped on a roadway for the purpose of being hired by an occupant of the motor vehicle and to be transported to work at a different location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic. • It is unlawful for a person who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place, or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in the state of Arizona. • In response to allegations of violations of the law, employers are able to assert an affirmative defense to the effect that they were “entrapped” by law enforcement officers. In order to assert this defense, an employer must prove the following: • The idea of committing the violation started with law enforcement officers or their agents rather than with the employer.

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The Alabama Roadbuilder •10/30/08 Summer 2010 6:43:29 PM

• The law enforcement officers or their agents urged and induced the employer to commit the violation. • The employer was not predisposed to commit the violation before the law enforcement officers or their agents urged and induced the employer to commit the violation. In reference to current Arizona law, the Legal Arizona Workers’ Act (LAWA), the new Arizona Immigration Law reiterates the fact that every employer, after hiring an employee, must verify the employment eligibility of the employee through the E-Verify Program (the federal government’s electronic verification system) and states further that employers must keep a record of the verification for the duration of the employee’s employment or438524_Vulcan.indd for at least three years, whichever is longer. Shortly after the passage of the Arizona law, several groups condemned the legislation and filed lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. Meanwhile, Congress has announced plans that it will pursue comprehensive immigration legislation during the coming months. Although the Arizona law is scheduled to go into effect in August 2010, it is unclear as to whether legal action will preclude its implementation on this date. ❏


8/7/09 1:58:43 PM

Questions or comments should be communicated to Mac B. Greaves at Burr & Forman LLP in Birmingham, Ala., via e-mail to mgreaves@burr. com or via phone to (205) 455-5172. This article is intended to provide general information concerning certain412162_Southeast.indd 1 aspects of employment law. It does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, or other professional service and should not be used as a substiPlease support tute for professional service in specific the advertisers situations. If legal assistance or other who have expert assistance is required, the serhelped to make vices of a qualified professional should this publication be sought. If legal advice is sought, possible. no representation is made about the quality of the legal services to be performed or the expertise of the lawyers performing such service. The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010


11:23:40 AM

Hornsby Striping Co., Inc. NIGEL HORNSBY PRESIDENT 2667 County Road 56 Tuskegee, AL 36083


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HRCA, LLC Helping to Build & Protect Construction Assets HRCA, LLC IS AN independent insurance agency specializing in bonds, insurance and risk management with offices in Montgomery and Birmingham. With years of combined experience in the bond and insurance industry, HRCA is able to use that experience to evaluate its customer’s needs. HRCA is also committed to a high standard of excellence in not only dealing with its clients, but also with the major surety and insurance markets we represent. We have always felt that as a business professional, you have enough to do without having to contact various companies to fulfill your needs. The complexity of your insurance and surety needs calls for an agent that understands not just insurance and surety but your business as well. We pride ourselves in offering comprehensive services to our clients. Our highly experienced staff can take you through the steps to help you increase your existing surety program or establish a new surety program. They can also review your insurance needs and establish loss control programs to reduce your costs

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now and into the future. Rather than vendors of a commodity, we see ourselves as an integral part of a business advisory team. We do not take lightly the business of protecting your assets. HRCA enjoys close relationships with many of the finest insurance companies in the country, bringing our clients a broad array of competitive products.

We pride ourselves in offering comprehensive services to our clients. To stay in touch with the industry issues facing our customers, HRCA has taken an active role in the Alabama Roadbuilders Association, the Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association, The Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, and the American Subcontractors Association of America. With a wealth of knowledge in the construction industry, backed by years of experience in bonds and construction insurance, HRCA is proud to support the Alabama construction industry. ❏

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010

HEARD ALONG THE HIGHWAY ARBA FFALL GOLF TOURNAMENT OCTOBE OCTOBER 11, 2010 ARROWHE ARROWHEAD COUNTRY CLUB Another great golf g event is planned for this fall. Last fall, more tha than 200 golfers and guests joined ARBA for this fun event, and we expect another tremendous crowd this year. Mark your calendars today, and be on th the lookout for more information abo about this fall tournament. We will continue to play a scramble. Prizes will be awa awarded to all the winning teams. Make your plans to join us!

PRESIDENT’S LUNCHEON AND ANNUAL MEETING The Annual Meeting and President’s Luncheon is scheduled for Friday, September 24, 2010, at the Capital City Club. Make plans today to join us for this always festive tradition as we honor our outgoing president, Sherman Suitts, and welcome incoming president Michael McCartney and his board of directors.

ARBA MEETS WITH SENATORS TO PROMOTE LEGISLATION Sen. Lowell Barron (D – Fyffe), Rules Committee Chairman of the Alabama Senate, and several of his colleagues joined many members of the board of ARBA to promote the funding legislation he sponsored during the 2010 legislative session. Sen. Barron has been a friend of our industry for many years, and we appreciate all he does for us. We are very grateful to all our friends in the Legislature who have a sincere interest in maintaining and growing the most important economic engine in Alabama—our road and bridge system.

ARBA MEETS WITH ALDOT CHIEF ENGINEER DON VAUGHN ARBA Liaison Committee Members met ALDOT Chief Engineer Don Vaughn and members of his staff to discuss Alabama’s transportation construction program for the remainder of 2010. Committee members were treated to a review of projects and were given very detailed information about the money that will be available for the program in 2010. We are very grateful to our partners at ALDOT for their willingness to sit with the industry on numerous occasions and discuss items of interest.

ARBA LEGAL SEMINARS ARBA has been hosting a number of legal seminars for its members throughout the course of the year, and the participation has been tremendous. Discussion topics included: • Contractor liability and how to protect your company from lawsuits. • Alabama’s bid law/public works, critical contract clauses/ALDOT claims process, and lien/bond claims. • Labor, employment and construction contract issues.

TRIP RELEASES REPORT ON ALABAMA HIGHWAY FUNDING The Road Information Program (TRIP) released a report detailing the needs of Alabama’s road and bridge system in Montgomery during the push for the $1 billion road funding legislation. The report, presented by Carolyn Bonifas of TRIP, was extremely timely as it detailed the needs of the system and provided Legislators with much needed information about the conditions that exist with regard to funding and deterioration of Alabama’s infrastructure. We are very grateful to TRIP for all they do for our industry and for us here in Alabama.

The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 2010


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The Alabama Roadbuilder • Summer 6/1/092010 6:57:17 PM

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INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ADVERTISER.COM AGGREGATES Decatur Mill Service Company ...............................16 Martin Marietta Aggregates .....................................8 Vulcan Materials Company.....................................21 ASPHALT & ASPHALT PRODUCTS Gulf Coast Asphalt Company..................................24 ASPHALT EMULSIONS/EMULSIFYING AGENTS Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc. ...............................4 ASPHALT PAVERS Roadtec, Inc. .........................................................15 AUCTIONEERS Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers America ...........................6 BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION Scott Bridge Company, Inc.....................................16 CONSULTING ENGINEERS Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood .......................................6 CRUSHED LIMESTONE The Rogers Group, Inc. ....................inside back cover CRUSHED STONE/GRANITE/RIPRAP Southeast Materials Corporation ............................21

DRILLING & BLASTING CONTRACTORS Apache Construction ...............................................8 ENGINEERING/ARCHITECTS Thompson Engineering ..........................................16 Volkert, Inc. ...........................................................26 EQUIPMENT SALES, SERVICE & RENTALS Cowin Equipment ..........................outside back cover Thompson Tractor ........................... inside front cover Tractor & Equipment Co. ........................................22 Warrior Tractor and Equipment...............................25 FUEL, OIL & LUBRICANTS The McPherson Companies, Inc. ............................24 HEAVY HIGHWAY & GRADING John G. Walton Construction Co, Inc ........................6 HIGHWAY GUARDRAILS Alabama Guardrail, Inc. .........................................16 INSURANCE SERVICES Palomar Insurance Corporation ..............................24 INSURANCE/BONDING Turner Insurance & Bonding Company.......................inside back cover

LIME/QUICKLIME/HYDRATED LIME SLURRY Chemical Lime ......................................................25 PAINT SUPPLIERS Safety Coatings, Inc...............................................15 SAFETY PRODUCTS Alabama Barricade, Inc..........................................18 STEEL Gerdau Ameristeel .................................................15 STRIPING COMPANIES Hornsby Striping Company, Inc. .............................21 TESTING EQUIPMENT & MATERIALS Humboldt Mfg. Company .......................................20 TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES & SIGNS Alabama Barricade, Inc..........................................18 Protection Services, Inc. ........................................25 UNDERGROUND LINE LOCATORS Alabama One Call ..................................................25 WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SouthernLINC........................................................16

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THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE PASSES FOR ROADS AND BRIDGES Voters to Decide Fate of Bill in November Summer 2010 •A Publication of the Alabama Roa...