On the Road

Honoring our Nation’s Veterans on Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. A day when we celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of…

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Shifting into Hyperdrive with Sara Haro

Sara Haro was a contestant on the Netflix original series Hyperdrive (now streaming), where drivers have to dominate extreme obstacle courses with intimidating names like the Leveler and Monster. When she’s not putting pedal to the metal on the race…

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Women in Asphalt: Meet Tanya

Tanya Nash, P.E. is a Pavement Materials Engineer at Asphalt Testing Solutions & Engineering — a valued Blacklidge customer — who was recently featured in Asphalt Pavement magazine. Read on to learn more about her work and her thoughts on…

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To the Moon with Blacklidge

At Blacklidge, we are always striving for excellence in all of our work. Excellence doesn't come easily, but our challenges seem insignificant compared to the challenge that President John F. Kennedy placed in front of NASA and the American people,…

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ReGen-erating Aged Binder

Recently, I was honored to represent Blacklidge and speak to a knowledgeable group of industry attendees at the Virginia Pavement Research & Innovation Symposium in Culpepper, VA.  The presentation highlighted the fact that the average quality and expected lifespan of…

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Safety First: Protecting Workers from Hot Asphalt with Proper PPE

This week we recognized North American Occupational Safety and Health Week—a topic that is close to my heart because there are so many potentially hazardous scenarios in the asphalt industry. At Blacklidge, we always put the safety of our team…

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Drive Slow, Stay Safe, Give Road Construction Workers a Brake: Thoughts on National Work Zone Awareness Week

It’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is “Drive Like You Work Here.” As a civil engineer, I’ve spent most of my professional life around construction, roadwork and other infrastructure projects. My life revolves around building safer,…

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Women of Asphalt at World of Asphalt 2019

This year’s World of Asphalt was a great success! We attended in support of Women of Asphalt, which organized several events during the conference. If you weren’t able to join us last week, here’s a recap of what you missed: …

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Women in Asphalt: Meet Sara

Obsessed with engines and anything mechanical since birth, Sara Haro is the latest in her family to be bitten by the driving bug. Based with the Blacklidge team in Tampa, Sara loves nothing more than the sound of a revving…

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Women of Asphalt: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back Last March, Blacklidge was honored to sponsor Women of Asphalt at the 2018 World of Asphalt Show and Conference in Houston. We helped launch Women of Asphalt with networking opportunities, fostering online conversations and a photo booth at…

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A New Year to ReSet®

As we settle back into work mode after the holiday season, we’re motivated by a sense of urgency that the new year brings. Ideas that were put on the backburner are now suddenly hot and ready to be put into…

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Can Asphalt Be Sustainable?

As Blacklidge’s new Product Management Director, I have the privilege of bringing innovative asphalt products to market. While I champion all asphalt innovations, I am particularly excited about the emergence of recycled asphalt products, such as Blacklidge’s ReGen®. However, there…

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Heart to Heart: Promoting Healthy Habits

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Evan Duffy, Communications Director of the American Heart Association’s Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast Region. We discussed the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle for our employees and the upcoming Gulf Coast…

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It’s Official: Blacklidge is One of the Best Places to Work in Mississippi

Our employees have spoken! On June 28, 2018, Blacklidge was honored with 2018’s Best Places to Work in Mississippi award in the medium-sized companies category. Sponsored in part by the Mississippi Business Journal, winners are determined through an objective, third-party…

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What Does “Recycling” Mean in the Asphalt Industry? Part 3

In my previous post, we explored how Japan is utilizing a high percentage of RAP resulting in high quality asphalt pavements with optimized life-cycle cost, in stark contrast to the US. The Solution is Obvious Notice that none of these…

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What Does “Recycling” Mean in the Asphalt Industry? Part 2

In part 1 of this series, I underscored flaws in the way that our industry considers RAP. Flawed ideas have translated to decades of flawed specifications, flawed practices, and flawed roadways. Examples from the US to Taiwan were used to…

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Mission Possible – Aligning Your Life and Your Work Mission

Imagine your funeral. What would your loved ones say? How would they remember you? While analyzing your own life after death may seem morbid, it’s actually quite the opposite. Thinking about how you want to be remembered now can help…

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Upping the Ante: Making Asphalt Pavements Age-Resistant

I’ve said it before. To me, the perfect road is one that is designed with binder that is resistant to the elements of aging. However, current industry standards do not require binder performance to last past the two-year mark. This…

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We’ve Talked the Talk, Now Let’s Walk the Walk with Empowering Women in Asphalt

As our Women in Asphalt Series comes to an end, I would like to thank all of the amazing women who’ve been a part of this series–you all are an inspiration. Also, I’d like to congratulate the Women of Asphaltt…

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Women in Asphalt: The Next Generation

Recently, I had the privilege of judging the Mississippi Regional Science and Engineering Fair. While there, I had the opportunity to meet 10-year-old Gianna Morales, a fifth grader at Bayou View Elementary in Gulfport, MS. She is an honor student…

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Continuing to Build a Better Blacklidge

I’ve spent my entire life in the asphalt industry. While most kids discussed football at the dinner table, my family talked about the next innovation in asphalt and the latest business challenges in road construction. Today, at my dinner table…

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The Launch of Women of Asphalt Council at World of Asphalt – Mixer, Photobooths, Forums and More

Just last week we were in Houston, Texas at the World of Asphalt/AGG1 for the inaugural Women of Asphalt Council launch. To say it was a success is an understatement. At 3pm on Tuesday, March 6th, the Women of Asphalt…

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Women in Asphalt: Meet Amy Miller

What led you to your current role as National Director of the Asphalt Pavement Association? After I graduated from college with a degree in environmental engineering, I really didn't know what I wanted to do. A friend worked at an…

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Blacklidge Gears Up for World of Asphalt

The World of Asphalt Show and Conference is fastly approaching, and Blacklidge is eager to attend. More than 350 of the industry's leading manufacturers and service providers will come together in Houston, Texas to showcase the latest technologies in asphalt-related…

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Women In Asphalt: Meet Amy

What led you to your current role as a professor at Texas A&M University? My dad (Dr. Jon Epps) has worked in asphalt materials within academia and the industry. He started his career at Texas A&M, and I always had…

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Women of Asphalt Council: Paving the Way for Women in Asphalt

When it comes to the construction and asphalt industry, women are grossly underrepresented. In fact, only about 9% of those employed are women, according to 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data, making it one of the most male-dominated industries in the…

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Women In Asphalt: Meet Swathi

What made you decide to go into the engineering/asphalt industry? When I was younger, I really enjoyed math and science. Right out of high school, I knew that I wanted to do something big and make a difference while enjoying…

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Women In Asphalt: The Series Continues

Last year, we were granted the opportunity to honor several women in the road construction and asphalt industry for our Women In Asphalt series. The series featured leading figures in the business such as Melinda McGrath, Executive Director for Mississippi…

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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…

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The Curious Case of 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…

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The Key Ingredient of Long-Lasting Asphalt Pavements: A Strong Bond

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,…

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#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…

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What Does “Recycling” Mean in the Asphalt Industry?

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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Interlayer Bonding—Part II: Fixing A Trillion-Dollar Problem

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…

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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…

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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…

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