Blog Posts

Making Long-Lasting Roads: Tip #2 Let’s Be TACKtical

Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed my previous blog post and learned about the many adverse effects dirty/dusty pavements can have on properly bonding asphalt roads. This time, I want to address eliminating tracking and improving bond strength with premium tack vs. commodity tack. Let’s talk about trackless tack Here at Blacklidge, we take pride…

READ MORE
road asphalt slippage
The Curious Case of Slippage

What Causes Slippage? Familiar with slippage failures? Most of you are to some degree, I’m sure. For those of you who are not, here is one of those lovely pieces of pavement: These crescent-shaped patterns of cracks typically occur shortly after paving construction is completed, often within hours or days. Shear force generally must be…

READ MORE

Recently, while reading through the July/August 2017 issue of Asphalt Pavement Magazine, I ran across an informative article by Shane Underwood that speaks to the right ingredients for longer lasting roads and the importance of interlayer bonding. On page 17, Underwood emphasizes the importance of quality interlayer bonding: One also must think about whether the…

READ MORE
#MeetBlacklidge

We’re a family-run company whose ‘family’ goes beyond our namesake. I share the Blacklidge name, but I consider everyone who contributes to this company to be part of the Blacklidge family. Our family has been in the road business for over 80 years, starting with my great grandfather who supplied road materials for Mississippi’s Highway 90.…

READ MORE

When you think about recycling, what do you picture? Most people think about items such as a plastic bottle or an aluminum can that looks, feels, and functions like new, with a label saying it’s made with recycled material. Those of us in the asphalt industry may think of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). Asphalt pavement…

READ MORE
Making Long-Lasting Roads: Tip #1 Don’t Be Dirty

As a civil engineer, I’m passionate about ensuring that asphalt pavements are constructed properly so that roads last longer. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the many ways asphalt pavement bonding with tack coats can go wrong. While we tend to think of the road construction process as complicated, it’s really quite simple if you think before you…

READ MORE
Women in Asphalt: Meet Melinda

“The aspect of this job I like the most is that we are really able to affect change.” Melinda McGrath, P.E. Position: Executive Director Employer: Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Years with MDOT: 27 What made you decide to go into the road/transportation industry? My dad was a general contractor, so I grew up going…

READ MORE
Women in Asphalt: Meet Michelle

“Working in this industry leads to a very promising career.” Michelle Dronet Position: QC/QA Administrator—Gulfport, MS Years at Blacklidge: 4 years Describe a typical day at the office(plant). I handle all of the D.O.T. compliance and QC plans for the plants. So it’s gaining approval to supply material into new states. Customers will request FAA…

READ MORE
Women in Asphalt: Meet Diane

I am one of the few women I’ve seen driving for this industry, but the work is well worth it. Diane Bragg Position: Driver Years at Blacklidge: 3 Describe a typical day. I drive all of Blacklidge’s products to our customers. That includes UltraFuse®, UltraTack® and more. My typical day starts at the yard, where we…

READ MORE
Women in Asphalt: Meet Audrey

In my experience, women are well respected in this industry, especially those who work hard. Audrey Copeland, Ph.D., P.E. Title: Vice President for Engineering, Research & Technology Employer: National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) What made you decide to go into the road construction industry? I originally studied civil engineering with the idea of becoming an environmental…

READ MORE
Women in Asphalt: Meet Dominique

Quality drives our business. It’s about what people need—and they need stronger, safer roads. Dominique Kelsie Position: Quality Assurance, Tampa, FL plant Years at Blacklidge: 2     Describe a typical day at the office/plant. My job is to ensure the quality of our products. This is done through sampling and tests daily throughout the production…

READ MORE
Women in Asphalt

Over the years, I’ve watched the number of women in the field of road construction steadily increase. From researchers in the lab and engineers in the field to quality control in the plant, women play a vital role in our business. At Blacklidge, we are honored to employ some amazingly talented women while also having…

READ MORE
2016: A Year of Service—Part II

My first blog post in the 2016: A Year of Service series talked about how we’ve spent 2016 focused on serving our clients and giving them the best possible experience at every turn. In this post, I am going to discuss another very important aspect of service at Blacklidge—how we serve our community and those…

READ MORE
2016: A Year of Service—Part I

“Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It is a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do, if you are to bring it to your customer interactions.” – Betsy Sanders, Business Consultant and Author of Fabled Service We at Blacklidge entered this year with one…

READ MORE
Poor Tack Coats Are Killing Our Roads: Why?

Interlayer Bonding — Part III In Parts I and II of this series, I spoke in depth about the importance of interlayer bonding, why it is often overlooked and the factors that impact tack coat application. Now, I will share the official stance of many asphalt experts relative to tack coat best practices, next steps…

READ MORE

Let’s pretend for a moment that our nation has decided to now focus on maintaining (not improving) our current D-rating for infrastructure. The cost to do so, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), is estimated to be $160 billion per year. Want to guess what we are spending now?…

READ MORE
What Does Innovation Really Mean?

Early in my career in the asphalt and emulsion industry, “innovation” seemed like a dirty word. It meant putting more work into something that was just a commodity. No one seemed to be thinking about a commodity product as something that could make a positive difference for communities. But innovation is important in the asphalt…

READ MORE
Interlayer Bonding – Part I

In a land where Pegasus, unicorns, dragons, mermaids, and other mythological creatures exist, asphalt concrete (AC) pavements probably look like this (Figure A): In reality, we live in a world where AC durability, stability, and life-cycle cost are not the only concerns, and in many cases are not even primary concerns. Utility design factors such…

READ MORE
The Evolution of Asphalt is Now

I was born into the road construction industry. My great grandfather supplied road materials for the original construction of Highway 90 Beach Blvd in Mississippi, and my grandfather and father were both in the construction business after that. As a child, I was around asphalt all the time. One memory that has stuck with me…

READ MORE
Using Recycled Tires for a Good Cause

Americans discard about 290 million used tires each year. In 1989, only 10% of old tires were recycled, while the rest sat in landfills. Today, that statistic has increased to 81% thanks to companies like Blacklidge Emulsions, who found a way to reuse those old tires. Grover Allen, Director of Technical Support for Blacklidge Emulsions,…

READ MORE
BEI Chooses T880 in Real-World Test

With a patent-protected product and nationwide licensing agreements, Blacklidge Emulsions is sitting pretty. The company’s unique emulsion product has revolutionized the paving industry as transportation departments around the country spec Blacklidge’s Trackless Tack™. “Kenworth’s T880 with the PACCAR MX-13 was the clear-cut winner in our evaluation of which tractor to order,” said Paul Johnson, director…

READ MORE
GuardTop at Quality Inn in Biloxi, MS

When Hopkins Engineering and Quality Inn chose to use GuardTop for seal coating a hotel property in Biloxi, MS, BEI suggested that they use the GuardTop Preferred Applicator Phenix Paving and Grading of Phenix City, AL. All parties elected to wait until the busy Labor Day weekend was over. Two days later, Phenix came in…

READ MORE