by Diana Barnum
Trying out new equipment can be a
lot of fun on the job. But trying out new asphalt mix for paving might not
be all that it’s cracked up to be. Or rather should be.
SMA (stone matrix asphalt) experimental asphalt mix on State Route 64,”
said Jason Yeager, project coordinator for Gohmann Asphalt &
Construction, Inc. of Clarksville, Indiana. “It should last longer, hold
up better and be more skid resistant. But it’s hard to get by rail and
hard to get the mix designs right.”
Gohmann Asphalt is into heavy and
highway construction, with the main focus on bituminous hot mix, concrete,
earthwork, new bridge construction and repair. They work with a large
number of rehabilitation projects involving road, bridge and new
The company’s SMA jobsite is a 10-mile stretch of
resurfacing a two-lane highway along S.R. 64. Crews use DynaPack large
rollers - the 700-series - with SMA, instead of limestone. They use steel
slag hauled in by rail from the Chicago area, but shipments are difficult
to coordinate. And the SMA mix is difficult to find. Plus steel slag and
mineral filler do not produce dust, so lime dust must also be located and
brought in. Normally Gohmann mixes its own asphalt, but on this particular
job, SMA is what the state wanted. It was included in the bid specs.
Yeager felt that over time, after mixing several batches, the process
would get easier.
Gohmann Asphalt & Construction, Inc. owns and
operates six asphalt plants in Indiana and Kentucky, four concrete plants
and a limestone quarry in Southern Indiana, a trucking company and a
company specializing in commercial, residential and industrial
construction projects. The quarry supplies base for their road projects,
but not all of the time.
“We’re working on a two-year job, a 12-mile
reconstruction in Evansville along I-64,” said Dave Hardin, Gohmann’s
chief engineer. “But we’re not using our base. We’re buying local. It is
economically feasible to bring in materials from a closer
Equipment at their job sites includes a Cat AP 1055B paver
and a DynaPack 501 roller. They use a Komatsu 400 and two Cat 325
excavators for pavement removal and full-deck replacement. A couple of
Ingersoll rollers, DD110 and 130’s, also come in handy.
Not only is
Gorhmann Asphalt supportive of the advancement of new products like SMA,
they are supportive of advancing their employees. Four of Gohmann’s
employees are members of the National Association for Women in
Construction (NAWIC), an international association that promotes and
supports the advancement of women in the construction industry.
Past President Suzie Kayrouz, receptionist at Gohmann’s, shared some of
the events that their NAWIC Louisville Chapter participated in
“We worked with a Block Program and incorporated it with a
Girl Scout Troop,” said Kayrouz.
The Block-Kids Building Program is a
national competition event, sponsored on the local level by NAWIC chapters
and other organizations. It is open to all elementary school children in
grades 1- 6 and introduces them to the construction industry to create an
awareness of, and to promote an interest in, future careers.
compete by constructing a structure with interlocking blocks and three of
the following: a small rock, string, foil, and poster board. Local winners
advance to Regional competition. One semi-finalist from each region is
then entered in the National Program competition. Prizes are awarded to
the top three projects.
Other NAWIC activities for the year included a
Career Days with an older Girl Scout Troop and a hands-on
birdhouse-building workshop for another Girl Scout Troop. The women also
volunteered with the Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build, a house built
entirely by women. Their volunteer work group put up gutters, cleaned up
brush and performed general cleanup on the project.
Louisville Chapter won a regional award for their work with the Girl
For more information about NAWIC, contact them at 327 S. Adams
St., Fort Worth, TX 76104-1081. Call: (817) 877-5551, or fax inquiries to:
(817) 877-0324, or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
information about experimental asphalt, contact Gohmann Asphalt and
Construction, Inc., at P. O. Box 2428, Clarksville, IN 47131. Call: (812)
282-1349, or fax inquiries to: (812) 288-2168.