Friday, November 7, 2008

Gambling on the Future

(from the November Editor's Note in AsphaltPro Magazine)

Something John Ball told me for the cost-cutting article in this month's issue got me to thinking. He suggested that owners incorporate the bonuses they anticipate achieving on a project into the project's bid. Well, yes, I've known folks to do this. If you have faith that your crew can exceed the density spec or can finish ahead of schedule garnering a smoothness or early completion bonus, why not factor that into the estimate to make sure your bid is lower than the bid from the folks down the road?

It's a gamble.

But there are aspects of this industry that aren't a gamble. When you stock up on liquid asphalt cement (AC) in the winter, you know you'll use that grade in that quantity while prices are rising in the marketplace during the regular construction season. Now, given this past year's prices, that would have been a good risk to take in December 2007.

Another good risk this year is equipment purchases. Manufacturers are willing to wheel and deal, and the economic stimulus package that went into effect back in the winter still stands—to the tune of a $200,000 deduction for some businesses.

Something I view as a bad gamble is reducing personnel. Given the safety concerns and the complexity of most jobs in quarries, at the hot mix asphalt (HMA) plant and at the paving site, firing a trained employee to save the cost of his or her salary—plus benefits—is short-sighted. You might think another employee—or two—can put on an additional hat and take on that now-missing person's responsibilities, but there's no replacing his or her experience.

Often, a veteran employee with many years of experience and knowledge is the one with the higher salary; he's the one targeted to reduce costs. How negligent is an owner who releases that employee and expects a less-skilled worker to take over at his station the next day? Does anyone think a project's quality control will improve with this business practice in place?

Eventually, the construction industry's bell curve will swing back up and you'll need to hire new workers. Who's going to show them the specific nuances of the machines and operations in your business if the folks with the inside knowledge have been released to seek employment with your competitors? By releasing skilled workers now, you not only cripple current operations, but also sabotage future projects.

How about instigating new, good business practices with less risk? Industry experts weighed in with some excellent ideas for saving money/cutting costs no matter what the size of your business and we assembled them in one massive article starting on page 10. Now, there are a few ideas that take capital upfront. Those you can put in the "gamble" category if you're living close to the edge in this turbulent economic climate, but other business practices that don't take a substantial initial investment start saving you money right away. Anything from reducing fuel costs, utility bills and equipment loss to increasing efficiency of individual pieces of equipment and office systems can help cushion the increased costs of materials these days.

If you know your costs are lowering, your systems are increasing in efficiency and your skilled employees are on board and working hard for you, then the numbers you put on the next bid aren't quite as large a gamble as they were before. You can have more faith in your operation and can bid with more confidence, less risk.

Stay safe,
Sandy Lender

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Alternative Fuels Lead to Alternative Funding

(from the October Editor's Note of AsphaltPro Magazine)

During my first sojourn into the asphalt industry, I worked for an entrepreneur named Bill Neeley. Bill would often come flying into my office, pull a chair up close to my desk, and say in a half-whisper, half-yawp, "Lady, I've got an idea!" Somehow, that half-whisper filled the room with electricity. No matter what the idea, something exciting was about to happen. Or…maybe something that would have to be handled delicately to bring Bill back down to reality. It depended on the idea, you know. One day Bill introduced me to a book called Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove.

That sounded about my speed.

The principle I came away with from the book was this: pay attention to what could be coming down the pike. Now, I want to put a different spin on it. I like to think of it as only the prepared survive. You never know when a great idea is going to affect your industry or your company or your little neck of the woods. In the case of the transportation industry, right now, these next few years, this election season, there's a lot to pay attention to. Bill's little book is stirring in the back of my mind as we watch the various factors that impact highway transportation funding.

Think about the marketplace. Drivers are sick of paying high prices at the gas pump, so they're driving less. Carpooling is back in vogue and family vacations lean closer to home. The less consumers put in their gas tanks, the less they put in the highway funding coffers.

Consider also the alternative fuels that keep new engines running cleanly and efficiently. With less taxable parts going in, there's less funding coming out.

Where do we make up the difference to keep highways and byways safe for the traveling public? Where do we make up the difference to keep American infrastructure strong and the workers building that infrastructure a part of the American economy? And when was the last time we defined "infrastructure" for the taxpayers who are casting their votes next month? One person's idea of infrastructure can encapsulate museums and schools. Let's get our terminology straight with some taxpayer and legislator education while we get our alternative funding ideas set as well. Already, contractors and DOT officials are coming together in places like Colorado and out east where forward thinkers are considering the ramifications of losing highway funding to the alternative fuels revolution. This strategic planning needs to take hold at our state and national meetings this winter. Now is a great time to take advantage of downtime and plan ahead for what's coming down the pike.

My friend Bill passed away a few months ago, and it broke my heart to hear of it. I'd like to think that if he's paying attention now, he'd be pleased to see this industry he was so involved in planning on surviving. I wouldn't say we're being paranoid, but being prepared. And that's survival of the fit.

Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender

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Industry Controls Dust, Water

(from the August/September Editor's Note of AsphaltPro Magazine)

Welcome to the issue dedicated to aggregate concerns. Of course we have plenty of hot mix discussions in this edition of AsphaltPro, but, if you readers don't mind, I feel the need to ramble a bit about rocks and crushing and how nicely our industry is watching out for dust. (I'll call your attention to our Here's How it Works department featuring the DustPro system on page 37 as just one example, and I'll dive into the topic here in a minute.) First, I have to tell you why the aggregate issue is so intriguing to me.

Maybe I was just a strange girl, but I thought it was pretty neat when my dad gave me a geode 30 someodd years ago. The outside of the rock was just your average ol' rocky brown and gray stuff you see in any ol' pile, but when I turned it over—oh, wow! It was purple inside. And crystal-like. And there were layers of color and sharpness angled down through a hollowed crevice in the center. That, my friends, was cool.

During my childhood, I wanted to hear stories of Grandpa working in the coal mines and how they got the material up out of the ground. When I had science electives in college, this English major took geology. When I sat down to write a fantasy trilogy, I gave my main character the all-important-to-the-plot birthmark of an amethyst on her cheekbone, high up near the corner of her right eye. (And, yes, it's under contract; the second book is due out this fall.)

All of that interest in rocks translates to overzealous research now that I'm including so much information about crushing, screening, stockpiling, monitoring, hauling, weighing, testing, mix designing, etc., in a professional asphalt magazine. In my research for this issue, I focused quite a bit on dust control and the recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Subpart OOO from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All that is also called "the opacity rule" and it deals with the visible emissions/dust that a non-metallic mineral processing plant gives off around crushers, screens, conveyor transfer points, etc.

The folks at the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) seem confident that the EPA final changes to the opacity rule won't require big changes to producers' current equipment or visible emissions testing. That's excellent news, especially considering the controls both aggregate and HMA producers already have in place to keep stray dust down.

Most equipment manufacturers are a little gunshy when it comes to talking about environmental issues, but the folks at Astec Industries, Chattanooga, and National Environmental Service Co. (NESCO), Mendham, N.J., were eager to point out how cautious industry members are and how effective current equipment is at controlling dust from normal operations. As Larry Thomas, an engineer at Astec pointed out, a 40 mile-an-hour gust of wind will kick up dust on any site, be it a ball field, nursery lot, or crushing operation, but plant owners have means of keeping dust under control with hoods and covers, dust return systems, baghouses and, of course, water. As Thomas reminded me, though, producers use caution with water, as well.

"Controlling dust at the site is not just a matter of throwing water on it," he said. He recommended producers use high pressure (100 to 200 psi), low volume systems to spray small droplets of water over areas to "capture" and weigh down dust. The small droplets allow producers to keep dust down without allowing enormous amounts of water into the material, which would increase drying times. And we all know what that leads to.

The dust suppression systems the Astec family incorporates in its conveying, crushing and screening equipment use this high pressure, low volume spray of water to help keep dust down at the areas producers target. Other companies using similar systems and producers incorporating such retrofits and aftermarket systems prove the conscientious effort this industry makes to keep visible dust to a minimum.

One of the reasons to watch your water spray is, of course, the time and fuel consumption rate it adds when overly wet material hits the HMA drum, but another is compliance with the Clean Water Act. While current issues focus on storm water runoff, any water runoff is up for scrutiny. This issue is a point for the aggregate industry to keep an eye on. While EPA currently focuses on storm water runoff at ready mixed concrete plants, the entity's officers also look at potential storm water runoff issues from aggregate facilities co-located with ready mixed concrete plants.

I checked with NSSGA to make sure HMA plants weren't a target yet, and Vice President of Environmental Services John Hayden reported that EPA's "priorities" for 2008 don't include asphalt plants. It looks as though this segment of the industry is still trusted to regulate itself when it comes to water issues. NSSGA is working with EPA to develop educational materials to help aggregate producers understand what's required of them under the storm water requirements of the Clean Water Act, and additional water runoff from water trucks and spray systems needs to be kept to a minimum. Hayden reminded me that NSSGA has a storm water management guide for aggregate producers that evaluates their permitting and control operations for storm water available at

As luck would have it, OEMs already have their customers in the aggregate and asphalt industry covered when it comes to keeping dust and water runoff under control. With high pressure, low volume systems delivering atomized mists and small droplets of water to coat and suppress dust, minimal water is left to pool or run off the site.

Who would have thought that as a 6- or 7-year-old child I would some day look at that pretty purple rock from Dad and wonder how much dust was suppressed to get it out of the ground? Or how much water was used in the suppression of the dust? Luckily, we have an industry that takes the neighbors' children into consideration when getting rock out of the ground, processing it, transporting it and putting it in HMA mixes. What we end up with is an industry that considers the environmental aspects of beginning, operating and closing down aggregate facilities before the first blasting charge goes off. It's an intriguing part of asphalt production to me.

Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender

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Double Up on Summer Safety Devices

(from the June/July Editor's Note of AsphaltPro Magazine)

An online article about dangerous jobs prompted this editorial. Those of you who know me know I harp on safety ad nauseum. This magazine includes an Accident Report in every issue where I agonize for hours trying to find a tactful and respectful way to turn some poor family's tragedy and loss into a useful guide to help others avoid similar accidents.

So when a reporter outside our industry listed "construction" as the top dangerous job, I took an interest.

She didn't tell her readers anything we members of the construction industry didn't already know. The article, as most online articles are, was a generic sort of piece with little substance, telling us it's more dangerous, according to numbers the author gleaned from a Bureau of Labor Statistics site, to be a construction worker than a stunt man. Surprise.

For as harsh as I'm being, I did find something in the article that I've not read in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) or in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendations or in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that I summarize for you on a regular basis. What she suggested was this: Double up.

She wasn't talking about the buddy system that we often illustrate in our Accident Report—where you have a co-worker responsible for tracking your movements and safety during your shift. She was talking about the availability of your personal protective equipment (PPE).

How many of you take an extra safety vest with you to the work zone? Stop and consider how your vest's effectiveness is reduced if you're sprayed with mud and grime from passing motorists half-way through your shift. The point of the glowing orange or yellow stripes is to catch a driver's eye, and that purpose is negated if your vest is covered with a layer of road camouflage. Take the time to put on a clean vest from the cab of your truck or whatever company vehicle brought you to the site.

When you're working at the plant, have a spare set of gloves nearby. You never know when a loose belt will rip one of yours or when a hot spill will make your current pair "less than comfortable."

How about your safety goggles? An extra pair will keep you safe and everyone working smoothly if a stray piece of aggregate chips the pair you're wearing.

The point is you never want to be without all your PPE in place. So having spare pieces on hand means no downtime in the event of a minor mishap while you go looking for replacement parts. You certainly don't want to continue working without gloves, goggles, a hard hat or a vest (a clean, visible vest), so doubling up on PPE for the summer construction season is a wise and safe suggestion.

One company that we recommend for ordering supplies is Sierra Safety Co., Newcastle, Calif. You can reach them at (916) 663-2026 or visit their Web site at this link. Don't wait to have your safety materials in place. Personal protection is a serious and important aspect of every job. And, as mentioned above, the Accident Report department featured in each issue of AsphaltPro has often referred to NIOSH's recommendation of on-board camera systems to enhance safety. I had the good fortune of meeting up with a representative of ECCO, a Division of ECCO Group, Boise, Idaho, while at CONEXPO, and learned more about that company's monitoring systems. They have an extensive catalog of safety lighting and monitoring devices for construction equipment, and can be contacted at (800) 635-5900 or by visiting their Web site at this link. Also watch the pages of AsphaltPro for examples of their safety products.

Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Add This to the Federal Highway Funding Mix

(from the April/May Editor's Note of AsphaltPro magazine)

Senator John McCain suggested in mid-April that we remove taxes from gasoline for about three months to help families foot rising costs. I wasn't sure I heard the report correctly so I researched it. Luckily, it looked like enough folks were reeling from the announcement that he'd back off the idea.

But it struck me. When I lived 26 miles from my office, I counted my pennies to fill up the oh-so-sensible sedan that I keep in clean and constant repair, right down to the nitrogen-inflated tires, for excellent fuel economy. Trust me, that thing is still in constant repair. It has 173,000-plus miles on it. I'll drive it until it gasps its final cough and sputters to a stop at the side of the road. (Hopefully, one of you faithful readers will be in a work zone nearby.)

My point is I'm not about to buy one of these gas-guzzlers that McCain knows so many consumers own. He suggested we forego putting money into the economy-stimulating Federal Highway Trust Fund to help consumers save some cash. In turn, we'd spend the money saved in other areas, and transportation-dependent businesses, such as delivery services, would get a break as well.

While one of those goals is laudable, the other is not. As the editor of AsphaltPro, a magazine that speaks to the road construction industry, I would prefer having a job to saving a few dollars at the pump next month. Wouldn't you prefer to be employed as well? I can see a swell in the number of layoffs in this industry if we suddenly lose a couple billion dollars in highway funding this spring.

Here's the good news.

Consumers, while driving a bit less than we were this time last year, according to the Energy Information Administration (see Last Cut on pages 41-42), haven't given up driving altogether. Families may opt for vacations closer to home this summer, but they're not hitching up horses to a buggy to go. Trade and commerce still rely on over-the-road transportation to get goods to market, thus truck drivers still fill up the tank and carry the load. The folks who were my neighbors when I lived 26 miles from my office still drive to town to work every day and still buy gas to do it. And guess what? That getting-to-work phenomenon happens all over the United States (and beyond).

It's apparent in the accommodations manufacturers build into their automobiles that consumers expect long commutes. Look at the features you can select for multi-tasking ease while spending an inordinate amount of time in the family car. From sending text messages to searching XM stations to finding your way through foreign streets to relaxing against a pre-warmed back massager, cars are designed to let you forget how long you've been sitting in a leather bucket recliner while the engine in front of you burned the gas for which you spent $3.70 a gallon.

The moral of the story is consumers still demand gas for their vehicles, thus crude oil is still purchased, thus AC is still made, thus asphalt producers can still track prices through supply chains. The wheel keeps on turning. Consumers will continue to put much-needed funds into highway funding coffers as long as the tax is in place. Now, keeping that tax in place is up to us.

You can let your representatives know how important the current user fee is to your livelihood, to the maintenance of safe roads in this country, and to the building of needed infrastructure to reduce congestion and pollution by writing to them. Get their contact information at

Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender, Editor

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You Want to do WHAT in an Election Year?

(from the March Editor's Note of AsphaltPro magazine)

We ought to just label this "the tax issue" of AsphaltPro. We've got an article about transportation funding compiled from AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley's presentation at the recent NAPA meeting, our coverage of the NAPA meeting includes a hefty dose of info on transportation funding, and I'm about to rail on the topic here.

You have to understand, I don't like paying taxes. I live in a state where there is no state income tax, and that makes me pretty happy. (One less surprise to pay in April.) But a fuel tax that makes the roads I drive on safer is one of those inconvenient things that I almost welcome (almost) because it makes sense. And let's argue the word "inconvenient" for a moment, shall we?

How inconvenient is it to absorb an extra 40 cents that got worked into the system somewhere up the chain so I'm paying a couple cents extra at the pump? The steps:

1. insert debit card
2. pump gas
3. hang up nozzle
4. drive away

That wasn't so inconvenient, now, was it? It's not as if I was asked to write a large check to the state specifically to take care of the roads I want repaired so I can be safe, so my groceries can be delivered in a timely fashion to the store down the street, so the ambulance whisking a friend to the emergency room gets there without an additional accident, so the airplane taking me to CONEXPO doesn't have to wait in a long line because Runway C is too cracked for use.

Do you see my point? We don't feel the shock of a 40-cent user fee increase at the pump, but we sure will feel the shock of losing $70 billion in Federal Highway Funding next fall when the current user fee expires.

Consider the number of roads the construction industry can maintain if DOTs and counties see a sudden and sharp decrease in funding. How many new projects, intended to mitigate gridlock and congestion, do you think will go through if states suddenly can't go to the well for monies to pay contractors? And if states can't afford to let projects, how can producers and contractors afford to keep employees?

If your job is at risk, you must let your representative know. Why vote for him or her this fall if he or she isn't interested in protecting your welfare on not just that basic employment level, but on a safety level, too? The roads we all drive on should, at the very least, be preserved and maintained to keep them safe for travel. (Heck, about 4 to 6 percent of the roads in this country are concrete pavements that need to be replaced and/or resurfaced!)

The argument I present to you is that your representative in Congress should be concerned about your livelihood and your safety. If that person isn't willing to reinstate and up the user fee that funds highway and infrastructure expenses, then that person isn't willing to reinstate your job. Why should you be willing to reinstate his (or hers)?

Congress has to act this summer to get a user fee in place to replace the one that's expiring. Without it, we won't have the funds to continue maintaining and improving the nation's highways and bridges. Safety, thus lives, are at risk. Jobs, thus livelihoods, are at risk. It's time to make some phone calls. You can find your representatives' contact information at

Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender, Editor

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Transportation Funding Needs Your Voice

Join the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) this May 20 to 21 as members of the asphalt industry participate in the legislative process. Let your representatives know that the expiration of Federal Highway Funding Sept. 30, 2009, means the expiration of safe roads, economic growth and construction industry jobs.

If you can't participate in the 2008 TCC Legislative Fly-In this month, let your representatives know of your interest in the nation's future by writing or calling them directly. You can find their contact information at the site link below:

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AsphaltPro's Focus is Asphalt

(from the February Editor's Note of AsphaltPro magazine)

I'm going to come right out and say it. AsphaltPro magazine's owner has no interest in the concrete industry. Therefore, when I hit the roof and started ranting about the American Concrete Pavement Association's (ACPA) manipulation of data to make asphalt pavements appear more expensive to produce than concrete pavements, Chris (the publisher) knew what was coming next. I complained (loudly) about what I considered unfair tactics while I pilfered the Internet and better primary sources to get the scoop, and then I prepared a scathing editorial for you readers. We're not offending any family members' advertisers by telling asphalt contractors the truth.

In a nutshell, ACPA developed a software program called StreetPave to assist contractors in determining lifecycle costs for both asphalt and concrete pavements based on what the software determines to be "equivalent" pavement parameters. The software, according to Asphalt Institute's Dwight Walker, uses AI's SW-1 software paradigm, but makes a modification to the data in the asphalt equation. "They made some sort of modification without explaining to the user what it was," Walker said.

My attempts to clarify that with other engineers went unanswered, but it looks like the StreetPave software literally reduces the subgrade strength of the asphalt design when the user punches in a number. This forces the program to add inches of asphalt subgrade to the asphalt pavement in the comparison. This means more material and more materials cost in the asphalt equation.

According to AI's Nov. 28, 2007, post on its Web site, "StreetPave takes the single subgrade strength value input by the user (only one value is allowed) and inappropriately reduces it prior to running the asphalt thickness design calculation." Because the concrete pavement design doesn't receive a similar reduction, the two pavements cannot be considered equivalent after all, and the asphalt pavement ends up being extraordinarily thick. In other words, the asphalt pavement turns out more expensive to build, in the StreetPave model, than it actually needs to be.

Now, how many people purchasing the ACPA product are making a roadbuilding decision between HMA and PCC? One would assume concrete producers purchase software to maximize their concrete-production efficiency from concrete industry members, just as asphalt producers purchase software to maximize their asphalt-production efficiency from asphalt industry members, so perhaps it doesn't matter that ACPA has something that appears blatantly underhanded in its marketing arsenal. Or perhaps it does.

Consider how precious the few projects being let in your county are. Do you want the local concrete producer to walk into the DOT office with a copy of StreetPave to show the materials engineer how much more expensive it makes the next pavement look over its lifetime if he elects to use HMA instead of PCC? You would be well served to let the engineer know that the subgrade number for the asphalt pavement becomes less than reliable in the StreetPave program.

It's a manipulation of data that needs to be fixed before the comparisons in the program can truly be considered "equivalent". After reading up on the product on the AI Web site, I wondered if anyone from AI had contacted ACPA to alert them to the problem (in case it was an honest error) and what the response had been. I didn't get answers to those questions, but they're good ones for asphalt industry members to follow up on. At the ACPA Web site, owners of the software can download a StreetPave v1.2 patch that mentions nothing about fixing a data-manipulation error. So it sounds to me as if the concrete industry still has a mistake to fix.

Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender

(Postscript: Since the publication of the February issue of AsphaltPro, I've learned that Asphalt Institute engineers have not received word from ACPA concerning their mistakes in software engineering, thus the apparent StreetPave error remains in place.)

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

List of EPA Sites to Accompany "Permit This Asphalt Plant to Serve the Community"

As additional information to accompany the plant permitting article titled "Permit This Asphalt Plant to Serve the Community" in the February 2008 issue of AsphaltPro magazine, the following information is provided as a courtesy to our readers and others. If you'd like to obtain a free subscription to AsphaltPro, starting with the February issue, please write to us at the headquarters office, stating your type of business within the asphalt industry and your position within your company.
AsphaltPro Magazine
c/o Business Times
2001 Corporate Place
Columbia, MO 65202

State EPA Divisions
Each state has an environmental and/or air protection division responsible for assisting in granting permits and assessing whether or not an applicant will meet air quality standards. Each state's environmental protection agency also has the responsibility of providing an ombudsman to assist applicants who haven't the funds to hire consultants or attorneys to assist in the permit application process. To find information on the regulations and process in your area, or to contact an ombudsman to assist you, find your state in the list below and click on the link to begin your research.

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington, D.C.
West Virginia

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We Build and Maintain the Infrastructure We Need

(from the January Editor's Note of AsphaltPro magazine)

When I told the people at my last place of employment the type of magazine I was going to work fulltime for, one of my co-workers released a controlled tirade about sensible alternative transportation and how "everyone wants sustainable modes of transportation and not more roads," or something to that effect. I stopped listening to her at about the fifth or sixth word to prevent my unplanned launch across the lunch table, because I like her and didn't think strangling her would prove it.

Sometimes you can inform people that properly maintained roads mean safer driving conditions for the end user (my former co-worker's driving-age children, for example). Sometimes you can inform people that asphalt is the most recycled product on the planet. Sometimes you can inform people that an entire industry is united in its efforts to build energy-efficient production facilities and to practically eliminate water vapor and particulate emissions from its production process. And sometimes you just have to sit back and listen to people harp on the fact that when they lived in New York they didn't even own a car. You know, if I lived in the heart of New York City, I wouldn't own a car either. But that's a self-preservation tactic, not fuel-conservation. I own a car for more than the convenience of getting to random appointments. I own it for the sense of freedom.

A more zealous tree-hugger than I might point out that taking a plane or train would free up a percentage of my money. But we environmentalists purchase carbon offset credits after purchasing plane tickets—thus negating the cash saved on car expenses—and at least one train system is causing a new kind of tax burden. City Council members in Olathe, Kan., are spending $5.1 million to figure out how to silence the train whistle blows yet keep the general driving public safe near junctions. Residents want "quiet zones" in some of the hoity toity areas of greater Kansas City, so taxpayers get to spend spend spend while City Council members research how to get rid of those pesky noises. Before I speak too harshly about Kansas, please note in the State-by-State department this month, page 8, that KDOT is supporting the use of RAP in higher quantities in its surface layers of road projects, so that might balance out the bizarre-factor, but I don't know if it'll make up for the dollars wasted. $5.1 million is difficult to replace.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for public transportation (when you have armed federal marshals on board), but I'm also a proponent for maintaining our current infrastructure with asphalt products so that the general public has safe driving surfaces. Where growth necessitates it, I'm a proponent for proper, well-planned, full-depth asphalt new construction. The beauty of our industry's product is it can be assembled with a percentage of reclaimed materials whether it's an in-place recycle project, a full-depth new construction project or something in between. No matter what it is, the tree-hugger in me proposes good tunnels for the wildlife to get through to the other side.

Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender

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Friday, January 11, 2008

An Asphalt Video Game

Call it a fun thing to play over the weekend.

I managed to score above 42,000 points and was granted the fabulous "Speed Paver" rating. (I won't divulge how long it took my non-video-gaming fingers to get to that rating...) Kudos to the folks at Asphalt Institute for providing this little gem.


Sandy Lender
Editor, AsphaltPro Magazine

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