PennDOT I-80 VRAM Trial

PennDOT Case Study on Using VRAM for Longitudinal Joints

Associated Asphalt has completed a case study documenting PennDOT’s 5-year work plan to investigate the use of void-reducing asphalt membrane (VRAM) for longitudinal joints and extending the life of asphalt pavement.

Project Spotlight: Kubota Test Track in Gainesville

When Kubota needed pavement as durable as their equipment, what did they select for construction of their Test Track and Skid Pad in Gainesville, GA? Associated Asphalt’s proven and high-performing polymer-modified binder (PMB) PG 82-22.

Earlier this year, Associated Asphalt partnered with C.W. Matthews to construct (Kubota Manufacturing of America) KMA’s Test Track and Skid Pad where tractors, utility vehicles, and heavy equipment are tested. The pavement selected must withstand harsh testing conditions.

Our specially formulated PG 82-22 binder, similar to what we have used for race tracks, is able to ensure durability and longevity of the pavement due to its really high softening point specification. This is critical to keep the aggregate from raveling or separating when subjected to the friction of the equipment, which could lead to premature failure.

Associated Asphalt supplied over 250 tons of PG binder to C.W. Matthew’s Gainesville Asphalt Plant. Allied Paving placed the special 12.5 mm mix. A test strip was laid on September 28, 2021, in order to ensure volumetric properties and compaction were in compliance. The project was completed in early October.

Our PG 82-22 is one of many polymer-modified asphalts and binders that have demonstrated success in projects along the East Coast, ranging from bridge decks to longitudinal joint solutions to fuel resistant asphalts. Contact us to learn more about our solutions for extending the life of your asphalt pavement projects.

A Trip Down Memory Lane with Bill Kirk

For more than 70 years, our company has been supplying liquid asphalt to customers seeking quality materials for a variety of projects. While our history is rich in the asphalt industry, there are other ventures from our past that are well worth looking back on.

“If you know from whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” – James Baldwin

We sat down with, CEO Bill Kirk, to take a trip down memory lane. After watching his father, J.W. Kirk Jr. lead the company and later joining the company in 1976, he’s seen Associated Asphalt adjust, innovate, and expand over the years.

Diversifying Revenue Streams

Associated Asphalt was founded in 1948 under a very different name and offered a very different set of product and service offerings. As Fuel Oil & Equipment Company, Inc., they offered home heating oil delivery. Bill Adams, Carter Tate, and Gordon Mills jump started the business with the purchase of a 10,000 gallon storage tank at the same location our Roanoke Terminal is located today.

“The heating oil business was the new home heat after World War II, replacing coal,” says Bill, who still sits at Mr. Adams’ desk. “He wanted to find something to do for his people in the winter when the paving business slowed down.”

Around 1953, Fuel Oil’s offerings expanded from heating oil into the sale and distribution of liquid asphalt. Just like a winding road, the company saw many changes over the years. In 1956, they dabbled in the gasoline business by operating 9 gas stations. When Bill joined the company in 1976, he diversified the business even more with the establishment of 3 Chesapeake Bagel Bakery stores, the Pop Shop, and the establishment of the EZN convenience store brand.

Refining Our Focus

By 1961, the company had offices in Roanoke, Richmond, and Bristol. Under the leadership of Bill Kirk, a second liquid asphalt terminal was acquired in Inman, SC in 1984. This was the start of a long road to becoming one of the largest liquid supply resellers in the United States.

“In the 90’s a lot of people were converting from heating oil to gas,” Bill remembers. “The convenience store business was good but it wasn’t our main revenue focus.”

After the purchase of a third terminal in Salisbury, NC, leadership made the decision in 1997 to divest the non-core business lines, selling the Fuel Oil & Equipment name, as well as the EZN stores, to focus on growth in the liquid asphalt industry. Shortly after, Associated Asphalt as we know it today was established.

“When I worked for Shell, I saw how the oil companies were starting to focus on refining the oil rather than direct marketing it,” says Bill. “I thought we could apply the same concept to liquid asphalt. We had different terminals in different states but they would all be associated with one another, so that’s how Associated Asphalt came about.”

Paving the Way Forward®

In its final form as a liquid asphalt reseller, the leadership at Associated Asphalt set their sights on growth. Over the next two decades, the company would build or acquire terminals in West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. After receiving outside investment, the footprint expanded into the North even further with the acquisition of Axeon Marketing. Today, there are 35 terminals strategically placed near railways and waterways for efficient transport. We are able to export liquid asphalt for projects overseas, provide third-party testing and research for our internal teams and partners, and provide efficient formulas for projects across the country.

That may be because Bill Kirk has made a point to maintain a company culture that still feels like family. Even though they’ve moved into the former Norfolk & Southern Building, the office still feels as tight knit as the little building they originally worked out of on Roanoke Avenue.

“We do our best to hire locally,” says Bill. “I’m proud that we’ve been able to bring jobs to our hometown and even bring in families.”

So what’s next for Associated Asphalt? Bill says they’ll continue to look for opportunities to formulate innovative products for the variety of markets they serve. They’re also eager to keep partnering with other asphalt formula companies and contractors around the world to provide long-lasting, quality asphalt.

Project Highlight: Applying StellarFlex FR® to St. Augustine Horse Paths

If you’ve ever paid a visit to the historic St. Augustine, FL, it’s likely you’ve seen one of their famous horse-drawn carriage tours pass by. These rides allow visitors and residents to take in the stunning historic architecture and culture of the city from the comfort of an open air carriage. Riders rely on a smooth path to make the experience relaxing and enjoyable. Earlier this year, Associated Asphalt teamed up with Duval Asphalt and Asphalt Testing Solutions & Engineering to assure a smooth ride for passengers by repairing the deteriorated horse paths and providing protection from future rutting.

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St. Augustine Project Background

In 2015, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) funded a maintenance project on State Route 5A to reduce rutting and smooth out the path where the horses and carriages had caused the most deterioration. Following the lead of Central Park’s application of a fuel-resistant binder for their own horse-drawn carriage paths, FDOT awarded Jacksonville’s Duval Asphalt the maintenance project to mill 1.5 inches of friction course and lay the new fuel-resistant mix.

In 2019, after proof that the fuel-resistant mix would hold up against the wear and tear of constant horse-drawn carriage traffic, a full reconstruction was ordered. Once again, the project was awarded to Duval Asphalt. Asphalt Testing Solutions & Engineering (ATS) was brought in to oversee quality control of the product mixing and placement.

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Application of StellarFlex FR®

Historically, StellarFlex FR® is applied to airport landing strips and taxiways to provide fuel resistant protection. Because this paving project would need protection from the asphalt softening effect of horse urine, rather than jet fuel spills, specifications needed to be adjusted. Associated Asphalt worked with ATS to adjust the fuel-resistant mix to perform for FDOT and project specifications under the exposure of the animal waste and pressure of the thin carriage wheels. 350 tons of the fuel-resistant mix was applied to the horse paths. The reconstruction project is expected to last another 15 years before further maintenance is needed. With this new extended lifespan, the large investment in quality paving materials will prove to be the most economic solution in the long run.

Related Reading

Due to the unique nature of the project’s challenges and solutions, the St. Augustine collaboration has been spotlighted in multiple industry publications. To learn more about the project and hear from team members who worked directly on the project, check out these articles by AsphaltPro Magazine and Asphalt Pavement Digital.

Do you have a unique paving challenge? Become an Associated Asphalt Partner to help pave the way to success.

Associated Asphalt’s Transportation Network Provides Opportunity for International Supply

Over the past 70 years, Associated Asphalt has worked diligently to build a transportation network that allows us to provide convenient access to liquid asphalt supply throughout the Eastern United States. With multiple water-accessible terminals, we are unbound by the limitations of land transportation. For over 20 years, we’ve partnered with contractors overseas to export supply tanks on water vessels internationally.

International Export of Supplies and Expertise

Our sales and marketing team can work with partners to provide our wide variety of paving-grade polymer modified asphalts, emulsions, and tack coats. We also supply the equipment such as burners, pumps, hoses, and fittings that are all necessary for processing the asphalt onsite. All international partners can receive technical support to make sure the equipment is installed properly and the asphalt processed on spec.

“Our International business provides asphalt for everything from airports, new road construction to high school track and field surfaces,” says Chad Gemberling, Director of Sales & Marketing. “It’s exciting to see our asphalt set sail outside the US.”

Our Export Footprint

Associated Asphalt ships tanks from our water accessible terminals in Florida and can transport the supply and equipment to any destination accessible by boat. We partner with contractors to set up their supply order and coordinate with a freight company of their choice for pick up. Associated Asphalt values these growing relationships in markets outside of the traditional space and is committed to continuing to provide quality products and consultation for their unique needs. We look forward to helping improve the quality and sustainability of infrastructure around the world.

If you would like to learn more about how Associated Asphalt can fulfill the needs of your international project, contact a representative today.

Paving the Way to Giving Back

For the last 70 years, Associated Asphalt has been a leader in the asphalt supply industry. As we’ve grown to become a company that impacts many communities throughout the Eastern United Staes, we also want to be known for our dedication to giving back to those communities. We seek to supply more than just asphalt. We strive to provide community support too.

Building on the Kirk Family Philosophy

Under the leadership of J.W. Kirk, Jr. and Bill Kirk, Associated Asphalt has extended the philanthropic impact that the Kirks have made on Roanoke, VA to all the communities we serve. With a long history of family giving, they have instilled the value of giving back at our corporate headquarters and beyond.

“The Kirks are historically charitable and we as a company represent that across our Associated Asphalt footprint,” says Jena Owen, Senior Accountant and Community Involvement Coordinator.

Giving Back in Our Communities

At the corporate level, Associated Asphalt gives back to our communities with financial contributions to a variety of non-profit organizations that serve the community. From environmental organizations to the American Red Cross, we make sure our dollars are spent on bettering the lives of our friends and neighbors from all angles.

At the leadership and individual level, giving our time is just as important. Our corporate headquarters and terminals take the time to seek out their own service projects in the community to give back in the best way they know how. From participating in runs like the Rugged Maniac in Hopewell, VA to helping in a church construction in Martinsburg, WVA – our employees are passionate about giving their time.

Associated Asphalt community food drive

“Giving back is about making a difference in your own backyard and that’s exactly what we try to do,” says Jena. “We just listen to the community and go where the need is.”

By playing an active role in supporting organizations that drive the socio-economic environment in which we’ve been able to build our company, we can build our communities.

A Comparison Study of StellarFlex FR® P-601 Fuel Resistant Mixture at Logan Airport