While many people hope to hit it rich at the casinos in Las Vegas, Eric Reimschiissel, manager of the Asphalt Maintenance Division of American Asphalt & Grading Co., sees his profit opportunity outside the casinos by maintaining the roads that bring the millions of gamblers to the casinos annually.
Reimschiissel moved to Las Vegas in 2000 to start up a new road maintenance division for American Asphalt. He looked beyond the glitter of lights and saw miles of asphalt in need of maintenance. The hot Nevada sun and high traffic volume was beginning to take its toll on the city that never sleeps, and the opportunity to promote a maintenance/preservation approach prompted Reimschiissel to team up with an already established paving contractor, American Asphalt, to seize the moment by expanding its service offering through a maintenance division.
American Asphalt's full-service maintenance division provides sealcoating, as well as Types 1, 2 and 3 slurry seal, pavement patching and striping. His 60-crew maintenance division is equipped with four 350-gallon sealcoat application machines, four 3,000-gallon sealer transport tanks, three Valley Slurry Seal Macropaver slurry seal machines, two emulsion tankers and loader to support the slurry machines, two LeeBoy pavers, a concrete saw, a crack sealing kettle/applicator, two tampers, two skid steers, along with support trucks and trailers.
Reimschiissel runs one paving and patching crew, one sealcoating crew and one slurry seal crew. He currently subcontracts his striping service.
Slurry seal provides the greatest market opportunity for Reimschiissell and American Asphalt, with Type 1 and Type 2 slurry seal the predominant preservation choice specified by municipal street departments in Las Vegas and the surrounding communities. Pavements in the area are just starting to show their age and road departments have initiated an aggressive program to maintain and preserve their respective infrastructures. Within the first two years of operation, Reimschiissel's maintenance division contracted over 4 million square yards of slurry seal and its slurry seal crew set a single-day slurry seal record by applying more than 74,000 square yards of Type 1 slurry seal.
Las Vegas-size slurry jobs
With municipal customers in American's targeted market understanding the value of maintenance and preservation, many of the slurry projects Reimschiissel currently contracts are of Las Vegas proportions — big!
His slurry crew completed a $2.5-million project in 2004 for the city of Henderson, and Reimschiissel has contracted a similar project for the city this year. On the 2004 project, his slurry crew applied 225,000 yards of Type 1 (1/8-in. aggregate), 1.1 million yards of Type 2 (1/4-in. aggregate) and 460,000 yards of Type 3 (3/8-in. aggregate) slurry, along with 300,000 pounds of crack seal.
"The project covered the full gamut of varying road conditions, with some requiring patch work, some crack seal, and others very little preparation," Reimschiissell says. "But none of streets had ever been treated."
What Henderson's Department of Public Works and other municipal road agencies are trying to implement is a seven-year maintenance schedule to keep their respective road systems in good condition.
"Once we can initially treat all the roads within a municipality's jurisdiction, it will then be time to go back for a second treatment," Reimschiissel says. "And once we can get those customers to continue to maintain those roads on a seven-year rotation cycle, then they'll begin to see the benefits of maintaining structurally sound roads and they will realize just how long an asphalt road can be kept in good driving condition."
The biggest challenge for Reimschiissel's slurry crews in undertaking a project of that size is maintaining traffic control.
"We try to take care of all our prep work a couple of weeks in advance, so that when the slurry crews show up they can begin applying the slurry and within an hour and half to two hours we can open the treated road surface back up to traffic," he says.