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Gas Tax Bill Advances to Iowa Senate

Des Moines Register, 2/12/15

A bill raising Iowa’s tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by 10 cents a gallon cleared its first hurdle Wednesday in the Iowa Senate.

A three-member subcommittee agreed to send the Senate Study Bill 1168 to the Senate Transportation Committee after the proposal received widespread support from a broad array of lobby groups representing Iowa businesses, agriculture, and labor unions. A companion bill is pending in the Iowa House.

The measure also includes increases in fees charged for permits needed to operate oversized and overweight vehicles..... read more.


Bridge, road funding woes drive county debt

 Four adjacent counties in Iowa's northern tier lead the state in per-capita debt, and they got there by taking out bonds for road and bridge improvements.
The transportation-funding approaches taken by Winnebago, Worth, Mitchell and Howard counties illustrate a leading argument in the debate over whether to raise the state's fuel tax: that inadequate state aid has forced local governments into borrowing to finance road construction.

Iowans are culturally averse to debt, and borrowing for transportation is seen as particularly undesirable, because bonding capacities vary widely across the state and roads are always in need of repair.....read more.


The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today that Norris Asphalt Paving Co. of Ottumwa, Iowa, is a finalist for the 2014 Sheldon G. Hayes Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The award, bestowed annually since 1971, recognizes the country’s highest quality highway pavements. The company received its award on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at a ceremony during the association’s 60th Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

Norris Asphalt Paving Co. and the Iowa Department of Transportation were named a finalist for Norris Asphalt Paving Co.’s work on U.S. 34 in Wapello County, Iowa. This particular portion runs through a wooded, hilly section of the highway, which the Iowa Department of Transportation rates a Super 2 with long grades and curves.

The project, which began mid-April 2013 and was completed by mid-August, specified pavement resurfacing with cold-in-place recycling to help correct slope and smoothness. The road also needed to be widened by three feet on both sides to make room for paved shoulders. To succeed, the job needed a good crew, quality materials, coordinated scheduling, and most importantly, proper planning, Brady D. Meldrem, President of Norris Asphalt Paving Co. said.   ...  
read more.

This Quarter's Iowa Asphalt Report features the following:
The Right Tool for the Job: Part 2 of a 2 part series
Darwin Larson Joins APAI Staff
GIAC at a Glance
APAI Welcomes New Members

 Sioux City Journal:  January 13, 2015

OUR OPINION:  Is this the year for action on roads, bridges?

We are cautiously optimistic this will be the year for action by the Legislature and Gov. Terry Branstad on more funding for Iowa's roads and bridges.

Rhetoric from state lawmakers and Branstad in the weeks leading up to this year's legislative session, which began Monday, gives us encouragement the issue is, indeed, a 2015 priority.

For example, consider these two comments made prior to a meeting on the subject between legislative leaders and Branstad last week:
"I continue to believe that there's broad, deep, bipartisan support for this.  It's probably the best opportunity to get it done," said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs. .........  read more.
Des Moines Register:  January 10, 2015

The Register’s Editorial: A legislative to-do list

The Register’s Editorial Staff 11:13 p.m. CST January 10, 2015

Raise revenue for roads

Iowa has not raised the gas tax for 25 years, and the Department of Transportation has a shortfall of $215 million a year for just the most critically needed highway and bridge projects. This is an issue of public safety and economic development. It is hard to find anyone who believes this state should continue to allow essential transportation infrastructure to deteriorate. Cities and counties are issuing bonds to pay for repairs, shifting the cost to property taxpayers. Raising taxes and fees for those who use roads — including those from out of state — is the fairest way to pay for these projects by charging those who use them, and the revenue cannot constitutionally be spent on anything else. The Legislature should raise the fuel taxes or fees this session, and Gov. Terry Branstad should declare his support. ...read more.

Des Moines Register:  December 19, 2014

The Register’s Editorial: Iowa must make smart choices on roads

Iowa is about to have a full-blown debate about increasing revenue for state and local highways, streets and bridges. The need for an increase in revenue is clear, and the question for the Iowa Legislature is the best way to raise it.

That is only part of the discussion Iowa must have about the current and future state of its transportation system, however. Many of Iowa’s 114,000 miles of roads, which were built or significantly modernized between the 1940s and 1960s, are deteriorating due to their age. Twenty percent of Iowa’s 25,000 bridges are rated structurally deficient. Meanwhile, the state is falling $215 million short of what’s needed to just keep up with the critically needed road and bridge projects each year.

Click here to read more.
 Des Moines Register:  December 17, 2014

DOT chief: Crumbling Iowa roads need money

The stage is set for the Iowa Legislature to undertake its most serious debate in years in addressing the state's crumbling system of roads and bridges, says Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino.

That debate could include proposals to raise the gasoline tax; a hybrid plan that includes a wholesale tax on motor fuels; increasing permit fees for oversized and overweight vehicles; and a host of other options, Trombino said The DOT says Iowa is falling short by $215 million annually to meet the most critical needs for its system of city, county and state roads and bridges. ....read more

APAI Annual Convention Races to the Future

The APAI Annual Convention held on December 3-4 at the WDM Marriott boasted tremendous speakers, record attendance, record money raised for the APAI Scholarship Fund and perhaps a record amount of fun. This year’s convention was themed 0-60: Racing to the Future and the attendees heard from speakers regarding the future of highway funding, the future of high recycled mixes, the future of the IDOT initiatives and how asphalt might be constructed and tested in the future. The future looks bright for Iowa’s asphalt industry and the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa as we head into our 60th year in 2015! The APAI Quality Awards luncheon saw the “Best of the Best” of Iowa’s asphalt projects recognized. Brad Manatt, President of Manatts, Inc and former President of the APAI, was inducted into the Iowa Hot Mix Asphalt Hall of Fame with an inspiring testimonial. Thursday night’s silent and live auction, benefiting the APAI Scholarship Fund, was able to raise over $33,000 for Iowa’s universities construction and civil engineer students! A special thanks to all of our attendees, our tremendous line-up of speakers and to Iowa’s asphalt contractors and vendors for their generous support of the APAI Scholarship Fund.

We would like to recognize a few individuals for their help in making this event such a great success: Scott Newhard, Iowa AGC; Sen. Tim Kapucian, Sen. Matt McCoy, Rep. Josh Byrnes; John Adam, Greg Mulder and Dr. Scott Schram of the Iowa DOT; Dr. Chris Williams of ISU; Signe Reinhelt, Behnke Testing; Jeff Burroughs and the Burroughs Consulting Team; Tom Manning and Matt Brown of Bob Brown Auto; Tom Norcross, Jim Hawk Truck Trailers; Danielle Hargens, OMG Midwest; Tania Rosener; Royce Fichtner, Larry Mattusch and Minnie Coree of the APAI.

If the APAI members can celebrate 59 years in this style, wait until you see what we can do with 60 years to celebrate! Click here to see photos from the event…



O’Brien County Open House is a Hot Ticket

On a cold and blustery day in NW Iowa, nearly fifty county, city and consulting engineers came to see the hottest ticket in Portland concrete cement (PCC) road rehabilitation, the asphalt interlayer. An Open House hosted by O’Brien County, Tri-State Paving and the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa (APAI) was held on Friday, October 10 on county Road B-14, approximately five miles north of Sheldon, IA. “I’m excited by the amount of interest in the asphalt interlayer,” said Jeremy Anderson, General Manager of Tri-State Paving. “This is our first time designing and placing this material, none the less, the mix design process went smoothly, the asphalt looks great and the paving operation is the same as traditional hot-mix asphalt (HMA), except that you only static roll the mat.” ....read more.

Click here to view the Open House Slide Show.

Dubuque Asphalt Interlayer Open House:
“Build It and They Will Come”


  Three years ago, the City of Dubuque Engineering and River City Paving (RCP) ventured forth to try a new construction method on busy Central Ave., an arterial street in downtown Dubuque, Iowa. Faced with huge costs to reconstruct hundreds of bad Portland Concrete Cement (PCC) joints, the two entities decided that the rehabilitation of Central Ave. should utilize an asphalt interlayer to reduce the reflective cracking of an asphalt overlay over an aging PCC roadway. The project and the process were both a success. It worked so well that Dubuque Civil Engineer, Jon Dienst, decided to use the same construction method on Central Ave.’s one-way counterpart, White Street. “We saw a significant decrease in both the number and severity of reflective cracks compared to our traditional asphalt overlays,” said Dienst.” .....read more.

To view the pictures of this open house, click here.

Full-Depth Reclamation is Just the Ticket for a Jefferson County Highway

The Jefferson Co. Full-Depth Reclamation Open House held on Monday, Sept. 8 attracted dozens of interested groups from across Iowa’s asphalt industry and local agencies. The event was a cooperative effort between Norris Asphalt Paving of Ottumwa, IA, the Jefferson County Engineer’s Office and the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa (APAI). The open house featured the incorporation of C-Stone, a partially hydrated fly ash, to a depth of twelve inches utilizing the full-depth reclamation process on Jefferson Co. road H33. The existing roadway was a hodge-podge of sealcoat, thin asphalt sections, full-depth asphalt patches and was literally a mess ..... read more.

For the Full story and pictures, click here.

 Crawford Co. Warm Mix Open House is a Cool Hit

 Crawford County and Henningsen Construction, Inc. joined together with the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa for an open house on August 25 to highlight the environmental and construction benefits of utilizing warm-mix asphalt (WMA). The seven mile project on E16 just north and west of Denison, IA is utilizing six inches of WMA to provide a long-term solution to the PCC pavement that was crack and seated and then overlaid in 1997. “This road has been a problem child for us. We looked at several options to rehabilitate this stretch, including total reconstruction, but the costs were too extraordinary. In addition, I wanted to provide additional safety measures by paving the shoulders and adding rumble strips,” said Crawford County Engineer, Paul Assman. ”Using asphalt provided us with the best cost benefit and allowed us to keep the road open to traffic.”  (read more)

Click here to view the WMA project in operation.

 Denison's Majestic Hills Golf Brings Out the Very Best!

What an event! The APAI golf outing held August 26 at the picturesque Majestic Hills Golf Course was a SPECTACULAR success. Over 130 golfers attended the 4-person best ball tournament, but best of all, the event raised over $4000 for the APAI Scholarship Fund! The golfers played, celebrated, and won fabulous prizes during this sun-kissed event. ...Click here to read more!

To view the event pictorially, click here.



Summer Meeting Shines at Okoboji

The 6th Annual APAI Summer Meeting was another great success for this wonderful event. APAI Contractor, Consulting Engineer and Associate Members gathered at the Bridges Bay resort in Okoboji for two days of fun and fellowship. APAI thanks Toby Shine of the Classic Car Museum in Arnold Park for his hospitality as our members view his magnificent car collection. If you haven’t made it to this event yet, make sure to get it on your calendar for next year! Click here to see the rest of the event in photos! 

Brown Deer Golf Course Outing Highlighted by $10,000 Win!

What an event! The APAI Golf Outing held on June 25th at the spectacular Brown Deer Golf Course in Coralville was a HUGE success!. Over 120 golfers attended the four-person best ball tournament, but best of all, the event raised over $2300 for the APAI Scholarship fund. The golfers played, celebrated, and won fabulous prizes at this sun-kissed outing. ....read more.

To see pictures of the full event, click here.

Norris Asphalt Announced with Two 2014 Sheldon G. Hayes Second Round Qualifiers

On April 14th, NAPA released the names of six highway paving projects that are eligible to move on to the second round of competition for the 2014 Sheldon G. Hayes Award. Two of the projects named are here in Iowa. The projects are US Route 34 in Wapello County and US Route 169 in Madison County constructed by Norris Asphalt Paving Co. of Ottumwa. The US Route 169 project was the winner of the 2013 Primary Resurfacing - 2-Lane - Rural QMA Award which was presented at the APAI Annual Convention in December. Norris Asphalt was the winner of the Sheldon G. Hayes Award in 2001 and have been finalists for the award 4 times. Congratulations for the excellent work by the Norris Asphalt crews!



Street Rules: The little-known story of pavement 
How extreme weather, rivalries and cutting-edge research shape Iowa roads 
By B.A. Morelli, The Gazette 

 Add Horsepower to America's Economic Engine: Pass a Real Transportation Bill (Op-Ed)
Huffington Post, 7/31/14


2015 Greater Iowa Asphalt Conference/Expo (GIAC)
     Preconference:  March 4, 2015
     Conference:  March 5-6, 2015
     Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport Convention & Conference Center

Click here to register.                       

Click here to select exhibitor booth.

Click here to register as an exhibitor.
World of Asphalt
Date:  March 17-19, 2015
Location:  Baltimore, MD 
Heartland Asphalt Riverview Plant Open House
 June 7, 2015
Time:  10 a.m. - 1 pm (lunch provided)
Location:  Mason City, IA
APAI Eastern Iowa Golf Outing
Date:  June 23, 2014
Location: Pleasant Valley GC,
      Iowa City, IA 
NAPA Mid-Year Meeting
Date:  July 13-15, 2015
Location:  Denver, CO 
APAI Summer Meeting
Date:  July 23-24, 2015
Location:  Dubuque, IA 
APAI Western Iowa Golf Outing
Date:  August 25, 2015
Location:  Majestic Hills GC
     Denison, IA 
APAI 60th Anniversary Annual Convention
Date:  December 2-3, 2015
Location:  West Des Moines Marriott 
2015 County Engineers Conference
Date:  December 8-10, 2015
Location:  Scheman Center, ISU 
View Entire Schedule

An asphalt road is an engineered pavement structure built primarily of Hot Mix Asphalt. Hot Mix Asphalt is the mixing together of quality aggregates (rocks & sand) and asphalt cement (that's the hot, black, sticky stuff) to hold those aggregates together. learn more The asphalt is incredibly strong cement, readily adhesive, highly waterproof, and extremely durable.