J-Band Advances in the Coolest Thing Made in Indiana Contest

Asphalt Materials, Inc.’s J-Band product has advanced to Round 3 of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Coolest Thing Made in Indiana contest! 

The competition celebrates the state’s long manufacturing history, and this year’s contest features 47 Hoosier companies that make both well-known and up-and-coming products. Entered companies face off in a single-elimination bracket format with winners chosen through public fan voting.  

We need your votes to advance to Round 4! Voting for Round 3 closes Monday, November 13, at 9 p.m. EST.  

Voting takes just two simple steps:  

  1. Visit this link.  
  1. Vote for Heritage Construction + Materials in the bracket matchup.  

About J-Band 

J-Band is AMI’s void reducing asphalt membrane (VRAM). It is applied before the asphalt mix is laid down, and when the asphalt mix is placed on top of the J-Band, it migrates into the asphalt mix from the bottom up. The product significantly reduces air voids within the longitudinal joint, which prevents deterioration and preserves the pavement.  

As voids are reduced, density increases, and permeability decreases. This extends the life of the joint, which improves the performance of the entire pavement and extends the life of the pavement by up to five years. J-Band was developed to help create longer-lasting, safer roads through a collaboration between state transportation agencies, industry experts and the laboratories of The Heritage Research Group.

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Pavement Recycling as a Tool for Asset Management

Did you know that asphalt pavement is one of America’s most recycled materials? Pavement conditions can be significantly improved when recycling processes like Cold in Place Recycling (CIR), Cold Central Plant Recycling (CCPR), and Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) are applied at the right time. Recycling can successfully mitigate cracking in existing asphalt pavement structures with the application of up-front pavement investigation and training on the specific recycling technique.  

Our very own Megan Yount from Heritage Research Group (HRG) was able to speak about Pavement Recycling and its benefits in a recent conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a co-presentation with a local agency. This presentation highlighted a successful recycling workshop which partnered with local associations and led to a strong recycling program in Lake County, Indiana.    

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AMIGUARD™ RPE Strengthens Eagle Creek Airpark Pavement

Rapid penetrating emulsions (RPE) are used to fill asphalt pavement voids and reduce air and water intrusion. Asphalt Materials Inc.’s (AMI) AMIGUARD™ RPE is specially formulated to penetrate pavement quickly and thoroughly. Its reduced surface tension allows it to seep into the pavement voids quickly, and the penetrating nature of RPE means the asphalt residue gets “in” the pavement rather than “on” the pavement. Air voids adversely affect pavement life, and proactively reducing pavement permeability extends pavement life. 

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Fight for a Cure: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. The average risk of a woman to develop breast cancer in her lifetime is about 13%, meaning there is a 1 in 8 chance of development.  No matter what the percentage is, women who have been affected by cancer are more than a statistic. They are a mother, daughter, grandmother and a friend.  

The month of October is a time to bring awareness to breast cancer and those who have been affected by it. We know awareness alone isn’t enough, so it is important to get involved, get screened and take action.  

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Central Kentucky Regional Airport Project Makes Kentucky 24th State to Use VRAM

The first void reducing asphalt membrane (VRAM) project was completed in the state of Kentucky, marking 24 states and the District of Columbia that use VRAM to save infrastructure funds. VRAM is applied at the location of the longitudinal joint prior to paving to fill a portion of the voids. This greatly reduces permeability and protects the joint area, resulting in longer pavement life.  

This project was completed on July 28, 2023, at the Central Kentucky Regional Airport in Madison County, Kentucky. 

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National Pavement Preservation Conference 2023

September 18-21 | Indianapolis, Indiana

This year, Asphalt Materials Inc. and Heritage Research group attended the National Pavement Preservation Conference (NPPC) hosted by the National Center for Pavement Preservation (NCPP). Sessions were held to further knowledge, development, and research regarding the preservation of pavement. The poor condition of our roads results in $130 billion dollars added to vehicle repairs and operating costs per year (Alabama DOT). To avoid such situations, we must establish an effective preservation program and protect infrastructure investment.  

DAY 1

On day one, we heard from several presenters that traveled near and far to share their advice, best practices and research. Below we highlight some of the speakers and key topics they discussed.  

Mike Smith: Commissioner of Indiana (INDOT) 

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has owned and maintained more than 5,700 bridges and has nearly 30,000 roadway lane miles. INDOT has created a long term, fully funded plan to improve Indiana’s roadways and bridges that consists of fixing what they currently have, finishing what they have started, planning for the future, and impacting the surrounding cities, towns and counties. 

Mike shared that at the highest level it is important to invest in our infrastructure, keep roads in good condition longer, use taxpayer dollars wisely and be environmentally sensitive. Looking ahead, INDOT plans to focus on the quality of the pavement life including preservation techniques, economic development, resiliency, and sustainability.  

George Connor: Deputy Director, Operations (Alabama DOT) 

George Connor discussed the preservation challenge and how important it is that we create longer lasting pavements. It is a challenging undertaking because the road system has 4.2 million centerline miles. The nation’s infrastructure is valued at $8.3 trillion, and in 2019 federal state governments spent $3.6 billion on highways.  

Pavement preservation is important because of the people and communities it impacts. Roadway networks connect about 7.9 million business establishments with customers, suppliers and workers. In 2018, roadway networks served about 327 million residents and 80 million international visitors. Transportation infrastructure has a major economic impact, so we must work together to share pavement preservation techniques that are working well. 

DAY 2

On day two of the conference, several of our own were able to speak about advancements in asphalt emulsions, workforce development strategies, and cold recycled pavements. 

Dan Swiertz: Asphalt Materials Inc. | Lab Manager 

Latest Advancements in Emulsions 

The use of asphalt emulsions is ubiquitous throughout the lifecycle of an asphalt pavement. From new construction to recycling and reclamation, emulsions are formulated to deliver performance across a range of climatic regions and construction variables. New and innovative advancements in emulsion technology have created valuable opportunities for contractors and road owners alike. This presentation examined several advancements including penetrating emulsion and micro surfacing that offer unique opportunities to extend the pavement lifecycle.  

Kierstin Janik: Heritage Construction + Materials | Chief Talent Officer 

Workforce Development Strategies 

As construction companies face lower workforce participation and an ageing workforce. The U.S. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law projects potentially creating 3.2 million new jobs across the non-residential construction value chain, and 300,000-600,000 new construction workers are needed to fill the gap with projected peak needs around 2027-2028. As a result, companies must develop holistic strategies to engage potential new employees and increase workforce development. 

Kierstin discussed some approaches HC+M has taken recently including highlighting its employer brand through social media and emphasizing the industry’s meaningful work, safety, support and good wages. She also shared more about HC+M’s talent acquisition strategy that prioritizes investing in the future though programs with middle schools, high schools and universities.  

Megan Yount: Heritage Research Group | Pvmt. Mat Engineering Manager 

Characterizing Cold Recycled Pavements from Field-Sampled Cores 

Replicating field-placed Cold In-place Recycled (CIR) and Cold Central Plant Recycled (CCPR) pavements with lab-produced mixtures may not accurately capture field conditions during construction, exact material proportions, or compaction effort. These factors often influence the resulting mixture properties, causing uncertainty that lab-produced mixtures reflect that of the in-situ pavement mixture. Examples from two State DOT projects were reviewed, followed by a discussion of results from tests including Dynamic Modulus, Marshall Stability, and Indirect Tensile Strength Testing.  

DAY 3

On day three, conference attendees visited the Indiana State Fairgrounds, where they could see INDOT evaluation equipment and research posters, static displays, and field demonstrations. Several contractors showcased their equipment including a diamond grinder, greens broom scrubber, pavement evaluation van and more. 

The live demonstrations listed below followed the static displays.

Treatment Contractor 
Hot in Place Recycling  Gallagher Asphalt 
Rapid Set Concrete Patch  CTS/Rapid Set 
Concrete Patch Materials FPT Infrastructure 
RMV Robotic Crack Sealer RMV/Sealmaster Robotic Crack Sealer 
Treatment Contractor 
Mastic and Crack Seal CRAFCO 
Pavement Retexturing  Skidabrader 
Maltene Based Rejuvenator Pavement Technology Inc. 
Microsurface Pavement Solutions 
Scrub Seal  Pavement Maintenance Systems/Etnyre 

Asphalt Materials Inc. and Heritage Research Group had an amazing time attending NPPC and learning pavement preservation best practices from agencies and industry thought leaders. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth and for sharing your ideas about how to take care of our infrastructure! 

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Raising Awareness for Suicide Prevention

Story provided by Ashlyn Halstead (Milestone Contractors)

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This is an important time and reminder to recognize those who have been affected by suicide, to create awareness, and build a support system for those in need. It’s essential to remember that there are resources available to help you or someone you know when it comes to understanding the signs of suicide and how to handle them.

Mental health organizations across the country provide resources, support groups, and hotlines for anyone seeking help and guidance in this difficult time. In our industry, physical health and safety are often valued and promoted but we realize that being healthy starts first with being well mentally.

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Transportation Builder: Innovative Solutions Protect the Weakest Part of Pavement

An excerpt from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)’s July/August 2023 Transportation Builder issue. 

Have you ever heard the expression, “A chain is no stronger than its weakest link?” The adage can be applied to road construction. No matter how strong and durable your materials, if one component is breakable, the rest are compromised as well. 

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